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Comsewogue's Cap-Busting Budget Fails by 33 Votes, District Recounting

School board member says voter turnout was 25 percent higher.

Comsewogue's Cap-Busting Budget Fails by 33 Votes, District Recounting

Comsewogue school district's did not get the supermajority it needed to pass. On Tuesday night the budget failed by a vote of ‎1514 to 1064, not enough to get the 60 percent required, according to school board member Rob DeStefano.

Update: School board member Fran Alabau-Blatter says that the district is recounting the votes. Check back for final results.

At 4.5 percent, the Superintendent's budget proposed to raise the tax levy above the state mandated maximum. To do this, the budget needed to pass by 60 percent of the vote. Ultimately it did not get the votes it needed to pass.

The budget ended up getting 58.7 percent of the residents voting yes, just over 1 percent shy of passing. The difference was 33 votes.

DeStefano said that ‎there was a 25 percent increase in voter turnout over recent years.

The budget was hotly debated over the last few months because it represented a and came after .

During the lead up to the election, Superintendent Joseph Rella tested public sentiment for passing a cap-busting budget. After much debate, Rella ultimately proposed the 4.5 percent plan calling it "educationally sound" in presentations.

According to Assistant Superintendent for Business, Susan Casali, by law the next budget vote will be Jun 19. Casali said that the Board of Education will decide which budget to present. She said that they have already stated at the public meetings they will present the property tax cap level budget of 2.6 percent with $2.9 million needed to be eliminated from the total budget.

If that budget is ultimately defeated and the district is forced to implement a zero percent increase in the tax levy, then it would need to cut $4.4 million from the existing budget.

Voting took place at gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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