District presents preliminary 2020-21 budget numbers

A preliminary look at the 2020-2021 Schuylerville Central School District’s budget was presented during the January public Board of Education meeting. While New York state has yet to release its state aid calculations for school districts, Business Manager Marian Chrisman detailed an estimated tax cap calculation for the next year. 

The district’s projected 2020-21 maximum allowable tax levy under the NYS property tax cap is 6.495%. However, the district does not plan to propose the full allowable amount, rather a levy of 2.9%, which would result in an estimated tax bill increase of $114 on a home assessed at $200,000. 

Chrisman explained that the 2.9% tentative proposal is an anomaly, stemming from a combination of the capital project debt service coming online, in addition to increased costs associated with retirement and health insurance benefits. The district anticipates the state’s building aid will offset future debt service payments for the project; this will assist in stabilizing tax levy increases.

“So far, $15 million of the voter-approved $24.7 million has been borrowed for the project,” said Chrisman. “This year is when we have to start paying the debt service; the repayment of the interest and principal of the loan.”

The proposed tax levy would carry a 2.95% spending increase for the 2020-21 school year. Below is a five-year comparison in the district’s spending plans with corresponding tax increases. 

Five-Year Comparison

“We are anticipating the 2.9% tax levy without knowing our state aid and building aid figures,” said Chrisman. “But we feel the responsible thing to do is give the community an idea of what the budget will look like, since this is the year we begin to pay for the capital project.”

The next public presentation of the budget will be Feb. 24 at 7:00pm in the high school library.