YORKTOWN, N.Y. — For the past three years the Yorktown School District has presented a budget to the public that rests below the state mandated 2 percent tax cap and this year will be no different.
The budget to budget increase that Yorktown Superintendent Ralph Napolitano presented over the past few months is a 1.05 percent increase from last year and a 2.44 percent increase overall. The district’s proposal is more than $800,000 below the mandated tax cap, though it warned that it’s not going to be easy moving forward.
Napolitano spoke about the gap he believes the cap will cause. Napolitano said 81 percent of the budget is funded by taxpayers, 1 percent comes from the fund balance, 15-16 percent from state aid, 0.5 percent from non-taxable sources and 1 percent from sales tax. The district also presented information showing that 17 percent of unfunded mandates make up the budget. Both Napolitano and Assistant Superintendent of Business Thomas Cole noted how hard it is to keep a revenue source low when all other revenue sources are stagnant as well.
“How do we shrink that tax levy portion of the pie when everything else that’s on there is stagnant or decreasing and that’s the challenge moving forward?” he asked. “How do we get other revenue sources on that pie to make things continue to work?”
The original budget to budget increase was 0.6 percent, but, the district said it is adding extra money to pay for the BOCES capital improvement projects, which are currently at a standstill. Should the project not go through, that money will go into the fund balance. Cole explained it is better to preserve the money should the school fund the projects rather than having to borrow for it during the school year. Cole said $385,000 was added to the original budget increase of 0.6 percent, raising to the rate it is at now. Cole said it will cost the district $1.1 million over three years to pay for their portion of the project.
The Yorktown Board of Education will have a vote to adopt the proposed budget April 9.