Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his executive budget proposal last week, including public school aid estimates. If the numbers hold, the Saugerties Central School District is due for an increase of 3.63 percent.
That figure would increase the district’s overall aid amount for 2017-18 by $814,735, potentially good news with the state comptroller’s office last week setting the statewide school property tax levy cap for this May’s budgets at 1.26 percent. A property tax increase beyond that percentage would require budget approval by a supermajority of 60 percent or greater at the polls. The tax levy cap is substantially lower than the 3.37 percent allowed a year ago.
At present few details are known about the aid runs outside of a short list of line items. The district would see modest increases on most line items, static aid figures on a handful of others, and decreases on even fewer. One decrease came on the high cost and excess cost line, which would fall from $306,427 in 2016-17 to $256,368 if the estimates stand. The high cost line is set aside for students with disabilities attending public schools or BOCES.
The district’s $61.05 budget for the 2016-17 school year was approved by voters last May, increasing spending by 2.93 percent, but only increasing the local property tax levy by 0.12 percent.
The Saugerties Board of Education is scheduled to vote on approving the budget proposal for 2017-18 on Tuesday, April 11. A public hearing on the budget is slated for Tuesday, May 9, with the public vote scheduled for one week later.