New Paltz budget, trustee vote on May 16; three candidates running for two board seats

The New Paltz Central School District will ask voters on May 16 to approve a $59 million budget for the 2017-18 school year with a 2.3 percent tax levy. There will be no bus proposition this year, as the district has determined the current bus fleet will suffice for another year. The budget will require a 60 percent voter majority to pass, because it does not come within the tax cap this year.

The “two percent tax cap” required by the state to pass a budget with a simple majority of 50-percent-plus-one is not actually a two-percent cap. The final levy limit is dependent upon a complex formula that includes calculating in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The tax levy limit in New Paltz is 1.2 percent this year. (That number is the total tax levy limit, not the limit on individual tax rates, which are controlled by assessments and equalization rates, which are not known until August.)

School board members ruled out the idea of a budget that came in at the 1.2 percent tax levy limit because of the reductions it would mean to the educational program.

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And in a refreshing twist on recent years, when the number of candidates running for seats on the Board of Education has equaled the number of seats available, this year there are three candidates running to fill the two seats opening up for election.

Trustee Steve Greenfield will run to retain his current seat. Board president Aimee Hemminger has opted not to run again. Entering the field are two new candidates: Kathy Preston and Teresa Thompson. The terms are for three years, set to begin July 1.

A public hearing on the budget will be held Wednesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at the high school. The vote will be held Tuesday, May 16 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the high school gym. Questions may be addressed to Richard Linden, assistant superintendent for business at (845) 256-4010 or e-mail rlinden@newpaltz.k12.ny.us and cc sshirk@newpaltz.k12.ny.us. More information is available at www.newpaltz.k12.ny.us.

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