The proposed budget comes in at $53.5 million, a 1.54 percent increase over the current budget, with a tax levy increase of 6.9 percent.The estimated tax rate in Saugertie would be $16.77 per $1000 of assessed property value. This would mean the owner of a property valued at $200,000 would see a school tax bill of $3,357 if the budget passes. The tax rate for town of Woodstock residents who reside within the Saugerties School District would be $18.43 per $1000 , and town of Ulster residents would pay $22.50 per $1000.
Should the budget fail, the board can put out a revised budget, or vote to go straight to austerity. In an austerity budget, certain expenses including equipment not related to health or safety, and any non-contractual salary increases would have to be removed. Business Manager Allen Olsen estimates that an austerity budget would carry a 6.69 percent tax levy increase.Five teachers will be laid off next year. Superintendent Seth Turner declined to comment on which teachers will be let go, or from which departments.The cost of health insurance and the welfare benefit trust will increase $176,840, and payments to the teacher and employee retirement funds will increase $730,846. The budget also contains approximately $65,000 to fund the salary and benefits of the school resource officer, and $60,000 to purchase a backhoe.
Athletics, instrumental music, and stipends for extracurricular clubs and activities are also fully funded in the proposed budget. A portion of the $830,000 received from the federal jobs bill is being used to fund the district’s athletic program. Polls will be open at each of the four elementary schools, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Trustees will also be elected – see here or this week’s issue for full coverage.