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FPCS budget aims to maintain programming and stay below tax cap

Thursday, March 14, 2013 - Updated: 3:55 AM

FORT PLAIN — The Fort Plain Central School District Board of Education has begun developing its budget for the 2013-14 school year with a goal of maintaining programs without increasing taxes above the district’s tax levy limit.

Superintendent Douglas C. Burton said the board will continue to do what it has in previous years to balance the budget, which includes using reserves, looking for ways to cut costs, and utilizing BOCES services.

“The board is committed to using reserve funds to offset any impact to instructional programs for our students while also limiting the local tax burden,” Burton said.

“We will continue to do what we’ve been doing by keeping a watchful eye on every dollar, and that is to the benefit of our students.”

Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed state budget, Fort Plain would receive $12,481,633 in school aid for the 2013-14 school year. The proposal reflects an increase of 686,231, or 7.12 percent. Yet even with the increase, Fort Plain will still not see $560,514 in aid because of the Gap Elimination Adjustment (G.E.A.), which is essentially an annual aid “take back” by the state to balance the state budget.

This is also the second year the board is creating a budget with a focus on keeping taxes under the tax levy limit.

The tax levy cap a formula put in place by the state to limit how much a school district can raise its tax levy without requiring a super majority approval from its voters. For the purpose of a tax increase, super majority in New York is defined as three-fifths of the vote, or 60 percent. A school district's proposed budget that does not exceed its calculated tax levy limit would require a simple majority vote.

Residents will vote on the school budget from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, in the Harry Hoag Elementary gym.


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