The Sag Harbor Board of Education was slated to adopt a $37.5 million spending plan for 2015-16 at a special meeting Wednesday night that stays within the limits of a state cap on tax levy increases and proposes no significant cuts to programs or staffing.
The budget amounts to a $683,063, or 1.85 percent, increase from the 2014-15 budget, and is about $118,000 higher than a first draft that School Business Administrator Jennifer Buscemi unveiled late last month. The change in the final budget, according to Ms. Buscemi, includes an increase in appropriations for snow removal, as well as an increase in projected expenses for Eastern Suffolk Board of Cooperative Educational Services, such as scoring assessments.
The budget also includes a tax levy of just more than $34 million, after exclusions, representing a 2.49-percent increase, or $826,082, from the current year’s. This levy is a decrease from the first proposed budget by $55,000, because the district decided to hold off on repairs to the tennis court at Pierson Middle-High School until next year, according to Ms. Buscemi.
The tax rate for the district, which straddles Southampton and East Hampton towns, is projected to increase by 2.28 percent in Southampton Town and 2.33 percent in East Hampton Town. In Southampton Town, the owners of a home whose value is assessed at $500,000 would be expected to pay $2,670 in property taxes per year, while those with a home assessed at $1 million would pay $5,340.
In the East Hampton Town portion of the district, taxpayers with a home assessed at $500,000 would pay $2,671 per year, and those with one assessed at $1 million would pay $5,342.
As for state aid, the Sag Harbor School District will be receiving $1,767,566, about $130,000, or 7.94 percent, more than it did for the current year.
A budget hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5, and the vote will take place Tuesday, May 19. On that day, there will be one additional proposition on the ballot. If approved, it will establish and fund a repair reserve that would be used exclusively for capital improvements and equipment. The reserve, whose dollar amount has yet to be determined, would be funded by any unanticipated reserves and unspent budget funds.