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Skaneateles school budget would increase taxes 1.78%
EDUCATION

Skaneateles school budget would increase taxes 1.78%

From the Learn about this year's Cayuga County-area school budget proposals series
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Skaneateles High School 2.JPG

Skaneateles High School students are dismissed on Monday, April 5, 2021.

The Skaneateles Central School District's proposed budget is set to carry a property tax levy increase.

The $35,918,226 spending plan adopted last month by the district's board of education will go before voters on May 18. The proposal includes a 1.78% tax levy hike, with 5.53%, jump in overall spending, according to the district's website. The tax levy increase is under the district's state-imposed cap of 3.65%.

Most of the year-to-year budget increase — 63%, or $1,183,054 — is attributable to principal and interest payments that will be due for upgrades connected to Project 2021, a capital project the community passed in 2017, the district said.

Student services will be expanded.

"The district intends to maintain all faculty and staff while expanding student offerings related to areas that include academic support services, mental/social/emotional health services and supports, increased enrichment opportunities, professional development for all staff and technological needs for all students," the district said.

Skaneateles schools have received $1,132,657 in federal grants from December and March aid packages that were passed. Those funds cannot be part of the general fund budget. The state Education Department has not determined the timeline, allowable expenses and regulations for that money, the district said.

A process for deciding how to use those funds includes community involvement, the district said, adding that it will be transparent on how funds are spent while encouraging ideas.

The five candidates seeking three seats on the Skaneateles Central School District Board of Education this year gave remarks near the beginning of Tuesday's regular board meeting. The district's video feed cut off during the second speaker, but audio continued throughout.

In addition to deciding on the budget and selecting three out of five school board candidates this year, district residents will able to vote on a proposal. It would allow the board to "purchase and finance student transport vehicles" up to $476,000.

Voting will be open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday, May 18, at the Skaneateles Central School District Office, 45 E. Elizabeth St., Skaneateles.

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