Southampton Board Of Education Adopts $62 Million School Budget Proposal

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The Southampton Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously adopted a $62.2 million budget proposal for next year that will not pierce the state cap on tax levy increases.

Taxpayers will head to the polls on May 20 to vote on the spending plan, which maintains all current courses and programs.

The district is proposing an overall 2014-15 budget of $62,228,698, an increase of $350,750, or less than 1 percent, over the current year’s $61,877,948 spending plan. Under the proposed budget, $50,749,238 would be levied in property taxes, or $518,994 more than the current year’s $50,230,244 levy. The increase would come in at 1.03 percent, well below New York State’s current tax levy cap of 1.46 percent.

Based on current tax rate predictions, the district anticipates that the tax rate would drop 1 cent, from $2.42 to $2.41 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That means with the current $62.2 million proposed budget for 2014-15, the owner of an average home assessed at $500,000 would pay $1,205 in school taxes, $5 less than the current year.

The town has not yet finalized assessments, so the tax rate could change based on the updated data.

At the same time voters head to the polls to vote on the budget, they will be asked to cast their vote on two district propositions. The first would allow for capital improvements throughout the district, including approximately $1,355,000 for school building repairs. At the elementary school, repairs would include replacing wood trim in the cafeteria, putting on a new roof and replacing floors. The high school track would be resurfaced. At the intermediate school, heating in the computer lab would be repaired, the roof over the foyer and library would be replaced, and a generator in the boiler room would be replaced.

The second proposition is to allocate $104,000 to purchase one new 48-passenger school bus to replenish the school bus fleet.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for Tuesday, May 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the intermediate school music room. The budget vote is scheduled for May 20, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., also in the intermediate school music room. Absentee ballots are available through the district clerk, and more information is available online at Southamptonschools.org, or by calling the district office at 591-4510.

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