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Board of Education adopts next year’s budget proposal

The Arkport Board of Education on April 10 adopted the district’s proposed $11,609,527 budget for the 2019-20 school year. The budget calls for a 6.55 percent increase in spending over 2018-19 and carries a 1.8 percent tax levy increase, which is below the maximum allowed for the spending plan to pass with a simple majority.

Because the local tax base – or the total amount of taxable property in the district – has grown by nearly 2 percent this year, the proposed 1.8 percent increase in the tax levy is projected to have no effect on the rate at which property owners are taxed.

Loan payments for the district’s capital improvement project, approved by Arkport voters in 2016, make up roughly half of the 6.6 percent spending increase.

On Tuesday, May 21, residents will vote on the budget proposal and also elect two members to the Board of Education and consider proposals to buy a 35-passenger, wheelchair-accessible school bus and two six-passenger Dodge Grand Caravans, at a cost not to exceed $150,000, and lease two 66-passenger school buses for a five-year period at a cost not to exceed $260,000.

The district will hold its annual budget public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, in the Board of Education conference room inside Arkport Central School, located at 35 East Ave. Polls will be open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 21, in the school’s small gymnasium.

The school district’s property tax levy limit is 2.45 percent. This is the highest increase in local property taxes that can be approved by a simple majority of voters. Anything higher would require approval by a supermajority, or at least 60 percent of ballots cast.