Broadalbin-Perth Central School District keeps budget under tax cap

Tax levy increase of 3.90 percent

BROADALBIN — Broadalbin-Perth Central School District residents will vote on May 15 on the proposed 2018-19 school year budget of $36.6 million. A simple majority vote of more than 50 percent is required for budget approval.

The proposed budget represents a $1.9 million/5.62 percent year-to-year budget increase and a tax levy increase of $565,083/3.90 percent, which is below the district’s state calculated tax levy cap.

A public hearing on the proposed spending plan was held Tuesday at Broadalbin-Perth High School.

“We’re excited to present this year’s budget,” said Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson. “There’s been an awful lot of work — as in every year — that’s gone into this budget. Once again we’re building a budget [in] our school community that continues to grow programs and maintain programs for our students here in the Broadalbin-Perth community all while maintaining, what I believe is what continues to be the best tax rates and those tax levels that we have in the region.”

Board of Education member Marco Zubolo went through where Broadalbin-Perth’s revenue comes from and where it is being spent.

He said there are only four ways the district can generate revenue.

The first way being state and federal aid which makes up 52 percent of its revenue. The second way is property taxes, which makes up 41.1 percent of revenue. The other two ways the district generates revenue is the fund balance with 4.1 percent and other local revenue at 2.8 percent which is carry-over money from the prior year.

Zubolo said the tax levy will be broken up into two pieces.

“There’s tax levy for our general operating budget and there’s tax levy to begin to pay back the capital project,” he added.

More than half of the projected tax levy and spending increase will go toward paying the debt associated with the district’s $39.7 million capital project, while the rest goes toward the annual operating budget.

The annual operating budget includes 62.9 percent toward general instruction of students; 23.2 percent toward operations such as maintenance of school facilities; 5.6 percent toward instructional support; 4.3 percent toward transportation; 2.4 percent toward administration; and 1.6 percent toward extracurricular and athletics.

The proposed budget will also includes $75,000 in salary and benefits for a full-time mental health counselor, who will be able to work directly with children who could benefit from therapy in the school setting.

If voters approve the budget, parents could save up to $75 per year on their children’s school supplies.

The district has allocated $20,000 to purchase supplies that parents usually buy and it will shorten the school supply list.

“We’re now able to go to the community and say this budget supports not only the creation of a program where our community members can go online at-cost [and buy] some of those items, but even some of those items we’re asking them to buy, the list has shrunk tremendously,” Tomlinson said.

“I just want to say I was reading about the district going to buy school supplies and then offer them to the public is fabulous because I know they’re expensive,” said a Broadalbin resident Penny Szumowski.

Residents will also be voting for the bus purchase proposition for four 66-passenger buses at a cost not to exceed $510,802. The state will pay approximately 77 percent of that bus cost and the district will trade-in the old buses which will reduce the purchase price of the new buses to $458,701.

District residents will also elect one person to the Board of Education. Incumbent Paul Chizek is the only candidate who filed a petition to run for the seat. If elected, this will be Chizek’s third term on the board.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m to 8 p.m. at the Broadalbin-Perth Middle School and High School gymnasiums. Residents who reside in the zip codes areas including Amsterdam (12010), Fort Johnson (12070), Gloversville (12078), Hagaman (12086), and Johnstown (12095) should vote at the middle school and those who reside in zip code areas including Broadalbin (12025), Galway (12074), Mayfield (12117), and Northville or Edinburg (12134) should vote at the high school.