Willsboro CS to reach tax levy threshold

— The Willsboro Central School Board of Education will stay under the state tax cap when it adopts a 2012-13 budget.

School Superintendent Stephen Broadwell said he is hopeful that the Board of Education will be able to adopt the spending plan at its April 16 meeting, which will meet the state requirement of a 2.12-percent maximum increase to the levy.

“We have one more budget committee meeting where we will go over everything,” Broadwell said. “The committee has reviewed the current recommendations and we should be ready to present a budget for adoption on April 16.”

Broadwell said that while the tax levy would increase, the administration is planning to present a total spending plan without increases.

“We have had some reductions in federal and state aid that create the difference,” Broadwell said. “We are planning that assessments will stay the same.”

Broadwell said there were three retirements calculated into the budget, with the recommendation that only 1.5-positions be replaced.

“We are looking at having a part-time position in the library and one elementary position that probably will not be filled,” Broadwell said. “We are also continuing to look at class sizes, as many of the smaller schools around here continue to do.”

Broadwell said there is also a current recommendation of using about $850,000 in fund balance to keep the tax levy down.

Meeting the tax cap, which is calculated off a base of two-percent and then increased or decreased based on district exemptions and other factors, would mean a tentative increase of roughly $36 in taxes on a home assessed at $150,000, according to Broadwell.

“School budgets have become a situation where it is like swinging on a budget over the lake,” he said. “You want to stay on as long as you can and be in a good position on the other end. Fortunately, financial planning that we have done has worked to our advantage and overall, we are okay and we have some stability financially.”

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