Albion school budget doesn’t increase taxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 2 April 2019 at 12:57 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Derek Vallese, the new business administrator for Albion Central School, goes over the school district’s proposed $35.5 million budget on Monday. Vallese succeeds Shawn Liddle, who retired last month as the school’s business administrator. Vallese previously worked as treasurer for Newfane Central School.

ALBION — The school district won’t need to increase taxes in the 2019-20 school year. The district is proposing to collect $8,449,094 in property taxes, the same as in 2018-19.

This is now the 11th time in the past 13 years the school district has either kept taxes flat or reduced them.

The $35,555,151 budget will go before district voters on May 21 from noon to 8 p.m. at the elementary school conference room A. The overall budget expenses will increase less than 1 percent (0.94 percent) or by $329,885.

The district is projecting the tax rate will decrease from $15.47 per $1,000 of assessed property to $14.70. The towns have done a reassessment that will take effect with the next school budget. The reassessment will likely increase the tax base, driving down the rate. However, some people will pay more or less in taxes than they currently are, depending on the reassessed value of their property, a value set by town assessors. Overall, the district will be collecting the same amount of taxes.

The district was able to hold off a tax increase due to about $615,000 more in state aid, and a reduction in debt service by $857,942 to $784,408. The district’s contributions to the teacher retirement system also will be down about $289,000.

Those savings and additional state aid are helping to offset transportation costs going up by $607,698 to $2,569,593; maintenance expenses increasing by $218,574 to $3,445,933; and instruction costs up $375,102 to $25,927,654.

The district will also have a full-time school resource officer for the full school year at a cost of $81,250.

Derek Vallese, the district’s new business administrator, went over the budget during Monday’s Board of Education meeting.

State aid is budgeted for $25,852,494. That represents the governor’s proposed aid, plus $30,000. The final state budget included $43,000 more for Albion than what the district has budgeted, however the aid isn’t a solid number and can still change.

Vallese recommended keeping that $43,000 as a cushion in the budget, which the Board of Education supported.

Other propositions for the May 21 vote include:

• Authorization to spend $505,000 from the School Bus Purchase Reserve Fund to buy school buses during the 2020-21 school year.

• Authorization to collect $714,920 for Hoag Library, which is the same amount as 2018-19.

• Two seats with five-year terms are up for election. They are currently filled by David Sidari and Wendy Kirby. Petitions to run for the Board of Education are due to the district office by 5 p.m. on April 22.

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