Holley proposes school budget with 1.95% tax increase

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2021 at 9:44 pm

7 candidates seek 4 spots on Board of Education

HOLLEY – School officials went over a proposed $26,150,000 budget this evening during a public meeting at the elementary school cafeteria.

The spending plan is up by 1.44 percent or $370,000 from $25,780,000, the amount the past two school years.

The budget would increase taxes by 1.95 percent to $7,572,763, which is under the tax cap, Sharon Zacher, Holley’s assistant superintendent for business, said during the district’s annual meeting.

Holley district residents will vote on the budget, candidates for the board, and two other propositions from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 18 at middle/high school foyer.

Zacher said there are some uncertainties in the future for the district, including guidance on how to spend about $3 million in federal aid. Those parameters are expected to be released in mid-May and districts need to submit a plan by July 1, detailing how they will spend the funds over the next three school years.

There also is uncertainty with how the school year will start in the fall – how many days per week will students be in school, will they be required to wear masks, will there be barriers between students to help stop the spread of Covid. Zacher said Holley will need to work hard to help students who have falling behind during the pandemic.

Zacher said many districts are concerned about a fiscal cliff when the extra funding ends after 2024, and districts will be need to be careful with their long-range planning.

“Be careful how you spend it because it will go away,” she said about the extra federal aid.

The budget for 2021-22 includes a $100,000 capital project that would be 91 percent funded by state aid. The project at the middle-high school would replace several interior and exterior doors, add card reader access controls to main office entrance door, replace auditorium orchestra pit lighting and replace the auditorium projection screen.

The proposed budget continues a stretch where Holley hasn’t increased taxes by more than 2.5 percent in a year in at least 12 years.

Holley Central School recent property tax history

  • 2010-11 – $7,153,485, no change
  • 2011-12 – $7,248,923, up 1.3%
  • 2012-13 – $7,393,901, up 2%
  • 2013-14 – $7,541,779, up 2%
  • 2014-15 – $6,741,480, down 10.6 %
  • 2015-16 – $6,741,480, no change
  • 2016-17 – $6,875,941, up 1.99%
  • 2017-18 – $6,968,766, up 1.35%
  • 2018-19 – $7,108,141, up 2%
  • 2019-20 – $7,285,845, up 2.5%
  • 2020-21 – $7,427,919, up 1.95%
  • 2021-22 – $7,572,763, up 1.95%

Source: Holley Central School

Seven candidates are running for four positions on the Board of Education. They include Brian McKeon, Jennifer L. Verhagen, Nancy M. MacPhee, Tracy Van Ameron, Michelle Hodge, Anne Smith and Salvatore DeLuca Jr.

There are four open positions on the board including the seats of current board members Melissa Ierlan, Mark Porter and Anne Smith. (Smith is the only one seeking re-election.) Those spots are for three-year terms. Holley will also be filling the final year of a vacant seat from the late John Heise.

Other propositions, besides the budget, on the ballot include:

• Proposition No. 2 – Authorize up to $318,000 to purchase two 72-seat passenger school buses and one 22-seat bus.

• Proposition No. 3 – $189,287 for Community Free Library in Holley, which is up from the $183,773 in 2020-21.

Eligible voters must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, a resident of the Holley school district for at least 30 days prior to the vote, and must have a proper ID or signed affidavit.