Kendall school district proposes 1% tax increase

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 4 May 2017 at 10:52 pm

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Kendall Board of Education President Nadine Hanlon opened the public hearing on the Kendall School District’s 2017-18 budget proposal Wednesday evening.  She discussed Kendall’s graduation rate (95 percent in 2016) and the Kendall Pride initiative among the school district, the Town of Kendall and Orleans County. Hanlon also discussed the 2017-18 budget process. The priority was to, “Maintain current programs while considering the impact of enrollment decline,” Hanlon said. Currently, there are 692 students in prekindergarten through 12th grade. “We are working on that and hopefully will bring more students into the school,” she said.

KENDALL – Board of Education members and community residents learned more about the proposed 2017-2018 district budget Wednesday evening during a public hearing held in the Jr./Sr. High School library.

The proposed $17.4 million dollar budget is slightly higher (0.14 percent) than the current budget.

District Superintendent Julie Christensen said the tax levy had been unchanged since the 2014-15 budget, but the 2017-18 proposal includes a 1.0 percent increase ($46,597) in the tax levy from $4,669,245 to $4,715,842, due to state aid going down.

Christensen said taxpayers in the Town of Kendall will see a proposed tax rate of $17.17 per $1,000 assessed value. That translates to an estimated annual increase of $22 in the tax bill of property owners with a home assessed at $100,000.

State aid comprises nearly 70 percent of the total revenue for the district, with taxes raising about 27 percent.

On the expenditure side, the administrative component totals $1.5 million; the program component totals $12 million and the capital component totals $3.9 million.

Christensen said budget highlights include the district’s work to expand pre-school programs, advanced high school course options and a continuum of services.  Instructional technology is also a priority with the district looking to purchase one-to-one devices next year.

She bemoaned the continued costs of unfunded mandates – “The amount of regulations and requirements placed on school districts from state and federal governments.”

She noted that the district would have a zero levy if all mandates were completely funded.

District residents will vote on the proposed budget Tuesday, May 16. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kendall Elementary School Gymnasium.

The ballot includes Proposition 1 – the proposed $17,415,783 district budget; Proposition 2 – to allow for the purchase of transportation vehicles to replace existing vehicles at a sum not to exceed $250,000; and Proposition 3 – the election of a five-year term board of education member and a one-year term board of education member.

Incumbent Lisa Levett is seeking the five-year term.

“Kendall is very special,” Levett said. “I want to see Kendall be Kendall.” She is a life-long resident of the district.

Jason ReQua is also running and he said he is seeking the one-year term. ReQua is a Kendall native who lived in the Town of Greece when his first child was born. He and his wife decided to move back to their hometown to raise their family.

“I can’t say enough about education here in Kendall,” he said.

Board President Nadine Hanlon said she is excited about working with both Levett and ReQua. Hanlon observed that after the upcoming election, “All five of us (on the Board of Education) will be Kendall grads who went all the way through Kendall – Kindergarten through 12th Grade.”

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