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Schalmont voters approve 2017-18 budget

Voters approve $47.2 million spending plan that includes a 1.46 percent tax levy increase, $800,000 in cuts and $800,000 from district's fund balance.

Schalmont Central School District residents have approved the $47.2 million budget proposed for the 2017-18 school year. On Tuesday May 16, 2017, the proposal passed with a simple majority vote of 688 yes votes to 341 no votes. The budget comes with a 1.46 percent increase in the tax levy, which is the district's tax levy limit or "cap," as well as the use of $800,000 in fund balance. The budget also includes $800,000 in spending reductions.

Also on Tuesday, voters approved a bus purchase proposition and elected two candidates to the board of education.

"We appreciate that voters saw this as a fair budget proposal and supported it," said Superintendent Dr. Carol Pallas. "While making cuts is never easy, we worked to develop a balanced budget that continues to meet student needs while also responding the needs of the community by staying within the tax cap. With this budget, we will be able to provide a strong academic setting, support strategic district goals and do so without heavily burdening our taxpayers."

The budget includes the funding to continue many strategic initiatives, including integrating technology into classrooms across the district and offering elective and advanced high school courses. The $800,000 in spending reductions, which were made to pare down an initial "rollover" budget so that the tax levy stayed at the district's cap, include BOCES services, supplies, extracurricular clubs, some athletic expenses, a teaching assistant position and two teaching positions. However, based on enrollment, class sizes are not expected to rise.

Some retirement savings, state aid and fund balance (district savings) also helped close the gap that was estimated at the start of the budget development process. The funding increase for Schalmont in the final state budget was greater than anticipated, which helped the district be more conservative in the use of savings than initially planned.

The budget development process included an Advisory Budget Committee, community forums and board of education meetings. Pallas said the message that consistently came through is that families and community members place a high value on education, but are also cognizant of the burden of taxes.

"We were listening and the budget proposal we put out clearly demonstrated that," she said. "Our focus will remain on providing the best education possible with the resources we have available to us."

Voters also supported a separate proposition related to the purchase of new buses with a vote of 659 yes votes to 370 no votes. The district will now be able to purchase three new 66-passenger buses, a 28-passenger small bus, and a 24 passenger wheelchair bus at a total cost not to exceed $480,000, which after state aid is factored in, will cost $230,400.

The number of vehicles in the district's bus fleet won't increase because older, heavily-used vehicles that are becoming costly to maintain will now be traded in. The older vehicles have logged between 128,000 and 181,000 miles over their lifetime. The actual cost to the district will be significantly less because of the trade-in value and state aid reimbursements, which cover 51 percent of the cost of buses.

This proposition was part of the district's annual bus replacement plan designed to keep buses in safe, working order while providing stability in the cost to taxpayers.

Voters also elected Mike Pasquarella and Kevin Thompson to serve on the Schalmont school board again.

Pasquarella has won his third term on the Schalmont Board of Education with 551 votes. He has been serving as the board president, and was first elected in May 2011. He is a Schalmont graduate, and currently has two children who are attending Schalmont High School.

Kevin Thompson has been elected to his fourth term on the Schalmont Board of Education with 582 votes after first being elected in 2006. Prior to being elected to the board, Thompson served on the Schalmont Budget Advisory Committee for more than seven years. He has one child who attending Schalmont, and another that has graduated from the district.

Dan Brudos, who was also running for the board, received 540 votes. These positions are unpaid, carry three-year terms and become effective July 1, 2017.

2017-18 Budget Details

2016-17 district expenses:  $46,570, 427

Proposed 2017-18 budget: $47,246,386

Spending Increase: $675,959 or 1.45 percent

Maximum allowable tax levy limit: 1.46 percent or about $406,127

click here for the 2017-18 budget proposal presentation

Schalmont's Board of Education adopts 2017-18 budget proposal  Updated April 13, 2017

Schalmont Central School District residents will head to the polls on Tuesday, May 16, to vote on a $47.2 million budget proposed for the 2017-18 school year. It calls for a tax levy increase of 1.46 percent, which is the district’s limit based on the state tax cap formula. Find out more about the 2017-18 budget proposal here.

Schalmont's Budget Process Update - Updated March 16, 2017

Schalmont is currently facing a $2.5 million budget gap. Learn where we are in the process, what information we know, and what we don't know yet that will affect the budget. This story will update throughout the budget process. Find out more about the 2017-18 developing budget.

Governor releases Executive Budget Proposal

New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented a state budget proposal Jan. 17 that includes a $1 billion increase in overall funding for the state’s schools in the 2017-18 school year. read more about the executive budget

 

2016-17 School Year Budget Summary & Information

Budget: $46,570,427

Budget increase: $772,866 or 1.7 percent

Levy increase: $187,359 or 0.68 percent

Estimated cost of tax rate increase for a $250,000 home in Rotterdam: $33.98

Homestead tax rates:
Guilderland: $22.895387
Florida: $40.333277
Duanesburgh: $57.483401
Princetown: $58.224570
Rotterdam: $20.060831

2015-16 School Year Budget Summary & Information

Budget: $45,797,561

Spending Increase: $1,242,831 or 2.79 percent

Tax Levy Increase: $537,602 or 1.99 percent

Homestead tax rates:
Guilderland: $22.713024
Florida: $40.535954
Duanesburgh: $55.324208
Princetown: $56.124743
Rotterdam: $19.988299

2014-15 School Year Budget Summary & Information

Budget: $44,554,730

Spending Increase: $1,381,575 or 3.20 percent

Tax Levy Increase: 2.0 percent 

Homestead tax rates:
Guilderland: $21.404112
Florida: $37.855692
Duanesburgh: $53.627847
Princetown: $53.349111
Rotterdam: $19.341189

 

More Information
Voter information

Voter Eligibility & Information

Absentee ballots

Tax information

Tax collection

Tax levy limit/tax "cap"

School Tax Rebates Change in 2016-17 [PDF]

STAR Program

Additional Budget Information

Budget Questions & Answers

Budget Development Calendar

Creating a School Budget

Employee Contracts

Contingent budgets

Exceeding the tax "Cap"

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