When all the ballots in Highland were counted Tuesday night, 728 voters supported the proposed $41,656,096 million budget for the 2016-17 school year with 568 voters opposed. But because the budget only won approval by a 56 percent margin, that did not satisfy the 60 percent voter approval rate required this year and the budget did not pass. A supermajority voter approval was necessary this year because adoption of this budget required a tax levy increase of 1.987 percent, exceeding the statutory tax levy increase limit of .590 percent.
Voters did approve passage of a separate $891,500 bus proposition, which allows for the purchase of seven 65-passenger buses, one 29-passenger van and one eight-passenger Suburban vehicle for the district. The bus proposition passed with 704 votes for it and 597 against.
Highland Central School District voters also re-elected two incumbent trustees running to retain their seats on the Board of Education. Susan Gilmore and Tom Miller will each begin their third three-year term on the Highland BOE July 1. Gilmore received 859 votes and Miller 914.
The BOE will have to go back to the table now to decide what to do about the budget. The next board meeting will be Tuesday, June 7.