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AVCS budget will come in under 2.49 percent 'threshold'

AuSable Valley Superintendent Paul Savage addresses the board and visitors during the March 21 monthly meeting.

AuSable Valley Superintendent Paul Savage addresses the board and visitors during the March 21 monthly meeting. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Even though they are waiting on hard numbers from the state, AuSable Valley Central School Superintendent Paul Savage said they would meet the tax “threshold.”

“I know that everyone calls it a tax cap, but it is really more of a threshold,” Savage said. “We do not have any specific numbers because we are waiting for the state budget, but I have been very clear that we will not be going over our tax threshold and I am sticking with that.”

Based on the state’s tax cap formula, the district can increase their levy by a percentage of 2.49. The formula is based on the base of 2 percent, then takes exemptions and other district needs into consideration.

“Our goal is to continue to provide high quality education and preserve our educational departments with minimal tax impact,” Savage said.

Savage said that a big part of the district’s budget plan is based on looking into the future.

“We need to continue to plan for 2013-14 and beyond,” Savage said. “That is what we did last year and the year before to help us get to where we are now, and you have to keep doing that in order to adapt.”

Savage said that there are a number of factors that cut into the budget process, including a $3.2 million reduction in state aid over the past two years and 125 state mandates that the school has to pay for.

“They have all been handed down, and we have to pay for those while we are getting cuts to our aid,” Savage said.

Savage said that the school saved, on average, $1,400 per day thanks to the new wood boiler heating plants and the middle-high school and Keeseville Elementary. He also said that the district will be re-working its debt service to lower the interest rate.

Savage said that the district plans to adopt a budget for vote at its April 18 meeting.

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