Kendall’s proposed school budget won’t increase property taxes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 April 2023 at 1:49 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Nick Picardo, Kendall Central School superintendent, holds a new name plate for Board of Education member Rachel Fisken. Picardo presented new name plates for board members that were made by students using a laser engraver. Audra Keirn, the district clerk, is in back.

KENDALL – The Kendall Board of Education has adopted a $20,413,805 school budget for 2023-24 that doesn’t raise the tax levy. The budget goes before voters on May 16 with polls open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Kendall Town Hall.

Overall spending is up 2.9 percent in the budget compared to the $19,822,921 in 2022-23. The district is able to hold off on a tax increase mainly due to a big increase in Foundation Aid from the state.

The state budget is yet to be finalized, but Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed a 12.95 percent in Foundation Aid or by $1,086,108 – from $8,382,316 to $9,468,424. Nick Picardo, the district superintendent, said that increase helps make the district whole on lagging Foundation Aid in previous years.

He noted during Wednesday’s BOE meeting that state aid covers 74 percent of the district overall budget. The total state aid for Kendall is proposed to increase by $1,774,288 or 12.64 percent to $15,806,286, which would be 77.4 percent of the proposed budget.

Property taxes through the tax levy would stay at $4,964,656.

Kendall voters also will be asked to approve up to $350,000 from a Transportation Bus Reserve Fund to replace two full-size buses. Those buses are currently on the market for $165,000 to $170,000 each. The $350,000 cap gives the district some wiggle room if the price is higher than expected, Picardo said.

There is one candidate on the ballot for a five-year term on the Board of Election. Rachel Fisken, the current vice president, is unopposed for re-election.