New Paltz Central School District voters supported the proposed $57 million budget for the 2016-17 school year with 1,148 casting a ballot in favor and 327 opposed in Tuesday’s election. Voters also approved passage of a $480,000 bus proposition to purchase four large buses and one car for the district. The bus proposition passed with 1,055 votes for it and 419 against.
Two candidates were also approved to fill trustee seats on the Board of Education. Both newcomers to the BOE, Sophia Skiles and Matthew Williams garnered virtually equal tallies, with Skiles earning 1,138 votes and Williams 1,132. Both seats carry three-year terms that begin July 1. As the higher vote-getter, Skiles will also fulfill the remaining term of former trustee Tim Rogers, which endsJune 30. Rogers vacated the seat last May in order to concentrate on his duties as newly elected village mayor, with trustee Dominick Profaci remaining on the board to pick up the slack, filling in for Rogers past his own term end until a new trustee could be elected.
The school budget reflects a 3.4 percent increase over the 2015-16 budget with a zero percent tax levy increase. Taxpayers will contribute the same amount of financial support as in the current year’s budget: $39,635,000.
The budget passed with a 77.8 percent approval rate, which satisfied the required 60 percent voter approval required due to the negative tax levy limit of -1.07 percent this year. Resulting from the consumer price index (CPI) being so low, the negative tax levy limit brought with it the requirement for a super-majority vote to pass. If the budget had not passed with a super-majority, it would have defaulted to a zero percent tax levy anyway, but in that event the district would not have been eligible to purchase any equipment for the schools. The other option for the district would have been to put the budget up for another vote.