Cazenovia Voters Approve $26.4 Million Budget

Elect two board members

(Cazenovia, NY – May 2013) On May 21, Cazenovia Central School District voters approved the district’s $26.4 million 2013-14 budget proposal, elected two Board of Education members and approved two propositions.

Voters approved:

*A $26,419,662 budget for the 2013-14 school year that increases spending 3.39 percent ($867,410) and carries a 4.94 percent tax levy increase: 444 yes, 207 no;

*The purchase of two replacement school buses at a cost not to exceed $71,871: 480 yes, 172 no; and

*The proposed budgets for New Woodstock Free Library and Cazenovia Public Library, which total $527,800: 483 yes, 169 no,

Voters elected two candidates for the two open Board of Education seats:

• Incumbent Kathy Hahn: 530 votes; and

• Lisa Lounsbury: 540 votes.

Each will serve a three-year term, beginning July 1. Board President Fritz Koennecke did not seek re-election.

“We want to thank the members of our community who turned out at the polls and voted today,” said Superintendent Robert Dubik. “A school district can only be strong as the community that supports it. With revenue sources dwindling and mandated expenses rising, we worked to find ways to present a budget proposal that safeguards Cazenovia’s core academic program, while remaining sensitive to taxpayers.”

The 2013-14 tax levy increase of 4.94 percent was the largest increase the district could have passed with approval from a simple majority (50 percent plus one) of voters, per the state’s property tax levy limit law. The law requires each school district to calculate its own levy limit based on a complex multi-step formula. Any increase above this limit would have required approval of a supermajority, or at least 60 percent of voters.

The district sought the maximum because of anticipated revenue losses from the state, due to the Gap Elimination Adjustment, as well as increased operational costs, such as state mandated increases to employee pensions and health insurance.

Administrators were able to keep the tax levy – or the amount of revenue raised through property taxes – at the limit by employing a number of strategies, including:

• Reducing spending through cooperative purchasing and increased energy efficiency, cutting some BOCES services and putting off some equipment purchases;

• Capitalizing on staff retirements;

• Applying $1.1 million of the district’s undesignated fund balance;

• Eliminating four full-time staff positions; and

• Streamlining some sports teams.

 

Submitted by Cazenovia Central School District Communication Office

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