Penn Yan budget includes levy increase
PENN YAN—The Penn Yan school board met to examine the draft budget for the 2014-15 school year Wednesday, Feb. 12, which contained a tax levy increase of $530,403, or 3.15 percent. The total budget expenditures amount to $33,076,343, which is up $427,746 from the previous year, a 1.31 percent increase.
The projected maximum allowable tax levy limit imposed by the state was calculated to be a 2.67 percent increase. However, Superintendent David Hamilton said this district is unsure of if the method used to calculate the levy limit is going to be the final method, adding the levy limit could be much higher, similar to past years in the area of 7 to 10 percent. In order to pass a budget that exceeds the tax levy increase limit, it needs to be passed with at least 60 percent of the vote. The difference between the current projected levy and the tax levy limit is $80,416.
Hamilton said the general recommendations for next year’s budget are that there are no changes in staffing, programming or expenditures. He said the district will keep staffing at the current levels, but will also keep options open for the changing of assignments and programs based upon student needs. He said the district will continue to keep supply, service and equipment costs frozen, with the exception of purchasing a few equipment items that have been on hold for several years. Hamilton said there has also been another freeze in aid, which prevents the district from getting some additional, much needed funds.
“With yet another freeze in foundation aid from the state the district is in a tough position again this year,” Hamilton said. “I am hopeful that the governor and legislators in Albany will move quickly and decisively to abolish the Gap Elimination Adjustment which would return approximately $1.2 million in much needed support to the Penn Yan Schools.”