20 Aug 2014
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Croton Schools Face $810,000 Gap in 2013-2014 Budget

The Croton-Harmon school district will need to make $810,000 in cuts in order to comply with the state's property tax cap.

Croton Schools Face $810,000 Gap in 2013-2014 Budget

Croton-Harmon school officials are trying to figure out how to deal with of fiscal cliff of its own.

District officials said this year’s $43.4 million budget would have to increase by about $1.9 million next year in order to preserve the current level of programing. But the district would need to override the state’s mandated property tax cap in order to rollover this year’s budget to the 2013-2014.

The tax levy for this year's budget is $31.7 million. The district's tax levy has had an average increase .42  percent during the past four years.

“Looking at it, we expect our tax levy cap for next year to be 3.09 percent,” said Edward Fuhrman, superintendent of Croton-Harmon schools. “We would have to add an additional $800,000 or so to get to a rollover budget.”

If district officials choose not override the tax cap, they will be forced to make about $810,000 in cuts to the current budget.

In order to override the state tax cap, 60 percent or more of the community must approve the budget during next year’s budget referendum.

If the community votes the budget down twice, the district would not be able to make any tax levy increases in next year.

“If you decide to do an override, you have be strategic,” Fuhrman said. “It’s not sustainable and you have to get 60 percent of the vote. The board has expressed that it’s not interested in doing an override at this time.”

Last year, the district lost $812,000 in state aid and was unable to make up for that funding loss through federal aid.

“The amount that the state is holding back from us is roughly equal to the amount of we’d have to cut in order to stay under the tax cap,” Fuhrman said.

The school board’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday. A meeting agenda is attached to this story.

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