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Yorktown Schools Approve Budget With 2.17% Tax Rate Increase

Yorktown Assitant Superintendent Thomas Cole explains the proposed 2013-14 district budget Monday night prior to a unanimous vote from the board.
Yorktown Assitant Superintendent Thomas Cole explains the proposed 2013-14 district budget Monday night prior to a unanimous vote from the board. Photo Credit: Nathan Bruttell

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – The Yorktown School Board unanimously approved the proposed 2013-14 school budget Monday night with a tax rate increase of 2.17 percent and a levy increase of 2.15 percent.

The budget, which will go to voters May 21, was approved at $93,992,000 for the 2013-14 school year during the board’s regular meeting. The budget-to-budget increase from last year is 1.97 percent, said Thomas Cole, assistant superintendent for business. The 2012-13 budget included a 2.42 tax rate increase, Cole said. The budget includes $1.4 million in reserve funds and a reduction of $350,000 from last year’s budget to keep the tax rate lower, Board of Education President Jackie Carbone said.

“The board is contributing that $1.4 million to keep it this low,” Carbone said during the meeting.

Cole said previously he expected the district to exceed a 2 percent property tax levy increase because the district's pension costs would rise $1.8 million to $2.2 million in 2013-14. The district operated about $908,000 under the levy cap in 2012-13 and was able to carry that amount over to use in this year’s budget. Coupled with the exemptions for the increased pension contributions, the district could have raised the levy up to 4.69 percent and still be "under" the cap, Cole has said.

“We’re still confident that we can have very healthy reserves going into 2013-14,” Cole said during Monday’s meeting, later noting that the board has averaged using $1 million each year in reserve funds to balance the budget for the last seven years. “Obviously we want to do what we can to keep the tax rate as low as possible but one of the financial implications of that is we have to replicate that next year.

"Our goal as we stated at the beginning of the budget process was to hopefully ween ourselves off of that and that’s still a goal.”

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