Quogue School Board Adopts $7.8 Million Budget

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The Quogue Board of Education has adopted a $7.8 million budget for the 2015-16 school year, a proposal that increases spending by roughly 1.4 percent and will not pierce the state mandated cap on the tax levy.

Adopted at the board’s most recent meeting on April 14, the budget increases overall spending by approximately $107,000, from $7.7 million this year to $7.8 million next year. The tax levy, or the amount raised from taxpayers, is expected to go from $6.7 million to $6.8 million, a nearly 1.2 percent climb. The state calculated tax cap for Quogue came in at $6.9 million, according to school officials.

This year’s tax rate was finalized at $1.97 per $1,000 in assessed value. A homeowner with a home worth $1 million would pay roughly $1,970 in school taxes.

The projected tax rate for the 2015-16 school year is $1.99 per $1,000 in assessed value, a 1 percent increase. A person with a home worth $1 million would pay about $1,990 in school taxes.

Eligible district voters can cast their ballots on the budget proposal on Tuesday, May 19.

The adopted document calls for a 12 percent increase in spending on instruction, from $4.2 million to $4.7 million, mostly due to a $188,500 increase in special appointments. Richard Benson, superintendent and principal of the single-school district, said three special education students need additional services in Westhampton Beach, so the spending increase will go toward covering their tuition.

Tuition rates for students attending Westhampton Beach Schools are set to increase by $310,000, or 11 percent, from $2.7 million to $3 million as well.

Mr. Benson noted a 52 percent, or $447,000 decrease in spending in the central services budget line, from $860,900 in the current year to $413,250, explaining that renovations and upgrades included in the 2014-15 were completed and the funds are no longer necessary.

Mr. Benson will be formally presenting the budget and take questions from the public on Tuesday, May 12, starting at 7:15 p.m. at the Edgewood Road school.

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