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Penn Yan school presents five-year overview

PENN YAN—Assistant Superintendent for Business in the Penn Yan Central School District, Doug Tomandl, presented a review  of the past five district budgets as well as excerpts from the governor’s executive budget during the Jan. 27 meeting of the board of education.
In 2005-06 the budget was $25.98 million and the 2009-10 budget was $31.10 million. The largest percentage of change was in 2007-08 when there was an 8.03 percent increase. The 2009-10 budget increased 2.63 percent over the previous year. At the same time state aid as a percent of the budget went from 40.9 percent to 46.55 percent. Property taxes decreased from a high of 55.03 percent to 48.69 percent of the budget, reflecting the increase in property values in the district. Paired with that, the tax levy increases went from a high of 6.48 percent in 2005-06 to a drop of 1.4 percent in 2007-09 and a zero tax levy increase in 2009-10.
Tomandl outlined the equalized tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value which has dropped from a high of $12.85 in 2005-06 to $9.74, reflecting a steady drop. Enrollment trends have also been down. Tomandl termed a tax rate under $10 per $1,000 of value,  “Fantastic.” He said property values are increasing and the district has one of the lowest tax rates in all of New York State.
There were 1,964 students enrolled in the 2005-06 school year and dropped by more than 200 to 1,737 in 2009-10.
Governor David Paterson’s executive budget proposal didn’t contain good news for the district. The percent of aid that would be lost is 8.17 percent for a total dollar amount of $1,428,865. The change including building aid at $1,257,875. Building aid is the only area that would contain an increase. Tomandl outlined the proposed changes, noting that the more than eight percent of the change is larger than that in most districts, which are looking at an average of three percent decreases. Foundation Aid will be frozen for an additional year through 2011-12. One factor that impacts the budget is that state aid is based on property values, a practice Tomandl termed, “Very unfortunate. It’s way out of whack here.”  

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