Proposed 2017-18 budget comes in under state’s maximum tax levy increase; all current programs, services maintained
April 20, 2017
April 20, 2017
Mayfield’s proposed $18.5 million budget for 2017-18 includes initiatives such as a new ELA reading series at the elementary school, increased instructional technology support and additional student counseling.
Community voting on the budget will be held from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 at the junior/senior high school.
The budget proposal, however, is also affected by the first payments for the January 2016 capital project. The budget calls for a tax levy increase of 3.99 percent in 2017-18, below the state’s maximum of 4.42 percent for Mayfield.
That would mean a school tax bill increase of $91.41 in September for the typical Mayfield homeowner with a $100,000 assessment. That is a $7.62 increase per month.
“All the highly effective programs, staff and services that are in place right now, that our community has come to expect from its schools, will be continued next school year,” said Superintendent Jon Peterson.
“I am very pleased with our whole team of board members, administrators, and staff who were crucial in the development of this year’s budget,” said Board of Education President Ernie Clapper. “I think it is a ‘students first’ budget that continues to build our district while being respectful of the taxpayers who support our students.”
The budget includes these initiatives:
• Elementary students, grades K-6, will be taught from a new ELA series, Journey, beginning in September. This year, a new math series was begun at the elementary school. Both series align with the New York State Learning Standards.
• An increase in counseling services for students at both buildings. The budget includes a four-day-a-week counselor position “to better address the increasing needs of our students,” said Superintendent Peterson. Part of the funding for the new position was reallocated within the budget.
• With the implementation of 1-to-1 Chromebook laptop computers for grades 4, 6, 8 and 10, as well as proposed extension of wifi services and other technical issues in the capital project, the budget increases instructional technology support to full time.
The budget benefitted by manageable health insurance costs. In 2017-18, health insurance costs are projected to increase by 7.5 percent, well below the 24 percent increase faced by Mayfield this year. Mayfield is part of the FulMont Health Trust consortium, which spreads rising costs among its member school districts.
Mayfield’s maximum tax levy limit, as set by the state after an eight-step computation, was 4.42 percent for the 2017-18 school year. The Board of Education is proposing a 3.99 percent tax levy increase – below the state’s maximum cap – without cutting programs.
The impact of the January 2016 capital project can be felt in the 2017-18 budget and tax-levy-limit computation. The proposal includes new debt payments toward the capital project but only partial state reimbursement. That means
Mayfield has to start paying debt without a corresponding reimbursement. Typically, school districts borrow money for capital projects and get reimbursed in the same school year, basically balancing off a large share of the original cost. This new debt is reflected in the state’s tax levy limit calculation.
The capital project work continues this spring – roof replacements began in April and high school field work is scheduled for June.
Taxes declined last September
For last September’s tax bills, school tax rates and bills declined by 0.66 percent with no impact to budget thanks to an influx in new state aid and the end of the state’s Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) penalty.
The community on May 16 will also be asked to approve the $260,100 purchase of three vehicles that will be bought from the Bus Purchase Reserve fund:
• Two 66-passenger school buses at an estimated cost of $232,100
• One 8-passenger Chevy Traverse at an estimated cost of $28,000
The district is eligible for roughly 75 percent reimbursement for these vehicle purchases through state School Transportation Aid.
Community voting on the proposed 2017-18 budget and vehicle purchases will be held from 12 noon to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 in the high school gymnasium lobby.