As Penn Yan and Dundee School administrators continue planning for the 2018–19 school year budgets, there are still some important elements that are unknown, primarily how much state aid will be available to help reduce the impact on local taxpayers.
An analysis prepared by Dundee Business Manager Melissa Lawson for her recent presentation to the Dundee School Board shows the two school districts had the lowest average 2017-’18 tax bills of 21 area districts.
WIth a tax rate of $10.28 per $1,000 of assessed value, the Penn Yan District’s average tax bill in 2017 was $719.60. With a tax rate of $10.68 per $1,000 of assessed value, the Dundee District’s average tax bill in 2017 was $747.60. Only three other school district’s average tax bills were under $1,000. Property owners in the Red Jacket School District paid the highest average tax bill at $1,848.
Both school boards heard details about the progress being made toward developing a final spending proposal.
In Penn Yan, the staff have whittled the year-over-year spending increase to 2.63 percent at $923,833. When budget planning began in January, the increase stood at 4.45 percent or nearly $1.6 million.
The projected increase to the local property tax is 3.36 percent.
During a presentation at the March 7 Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent for Business Cathy Milliman discussed the following sections of the budget:
• Instruction/Staff Development Office,which includes curriculum development ($182,904) and supervision and inservice training ($261,020).
• Supervision ($800,158), which decreased by over $49,000 because of restructuring of clerical positions last year.
• Instruction, which includes supplies, textbooks, field trips, and salaries at $8.1 million, up from $7.8 million budgeted for this year.
• Students with Disabilities, which includes placements in BOCES programs, outside of district placements and in-house special needs programs, at a cost of $4.3 million, essentially unchanged from this year.
• Occupational education and summer school, $1 million, up from $961,400.
• Library/Computer Instruction, $1.1 million
• Attendance, Guidance, which includes Dean of Students, attendance personnel, and guidance offices, at $699,528.
• Health Services which includes the cost of nurses, office supplies, and equipment at $264,735
• Extra-Curricular and Athletics, which includes clubs and sports teams and associated costs. The total cost of $645,211 includes additional security for some sporting events.
The administrators will present the complete budget, including revenue projections at the March 21 meeting of the Penn Yan Board of Education in the elemetary school cafeteria.
Dundee’s proposed spending totals $18.9 million, an increase of $783,980 or 4.3 percent. Without having a firm idea of state aid, Lawson projects the total amount to be raised by local property taxes to be $5.3 million, an increase of $192,000 or 3.7 percent, which is the maximum allowable levy within the state’s tax cap.
Assuming a 1.5 percent growth in assessments across the district, Lawson projects the impact on a property valued at $100,000 will be an increase of $19 with a tax rate of $10.96.