Kendall school district won’t increase taxes in new budget

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 22 April 2016 at 12:00 am

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall School Board of Education have adopted the proposed 2016-17 budget which doesn’t increase the tax rate.

The proposed budget increases spending from $15,065,842 to $17,392,234, predominantly due to the debt incurred with the recent capital improvement project, said Julie Christensen, the district superintendent.

The budget-to-budget increase, however, is completely offset by an increase in state aid from $9,884,890 to $11,855,939, Christensen explained, the majority of which is an increase in building aid.

“Our expense based state aid figures increased for BOCES cost, but decreased for transportation and high cost aid,” she said. “These aid dollars are determined solely by usage that fluctuates from year to year. For example, we purchased more technology from BOCES hence the increase in that aid line.”

The new state budget ends the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA), restoring funds to school districts from the recession in 2009-10.

“This is the amount New York State deducted from the legislated school state aid figures to pay their bills for the state,” Christensen said.

Additionally, the district will actualize $25,104 in revenues from the PILOT from The Cottages at Troutburg.

“Our current programs and services, dependent on student enrollment and interest, will remain intact,” Christensen said. “We are offering many new high school course electives based on student interest.”

The proposed tax levy remains unchanged in the 2016/17 budget and Christensen says Kendall has held the levy stable for many years.

This year, maintaining the zero levy was facilitated by the Board of Education seeking to apply the one-time return of GEA funds to the levy, she said.

The tax rate will be $17.39/$1,000 assessed value for a Kendall resident.

One seat on the School Board of Education is up for election this year. Incumbent Charles Patt is seeking another term. Debra Szczepanski is also seeking a term on the Board. The five-year term will run through June 30, 2021.

The 2016/17 proposed Budget Presentation is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4 at the David J. Doyle Junior/Senior High School at 7 p.m. in the Commons. District residents are invited to attend, ask questions regarding the 2016/17 proposed budget, and meet school board candidates.

The annual budget vote/school board election is set for May 17 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Kendall Elementary School Gymnasium.