Budget & Tax Information
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Port Byron voters approve $20.8 million budget; elect board members
On May 19, Port Byron Central School District voters approved the district's $20.8 million 2015-16 budget proposal, elected two Board of Education members and approved three propositions.
- A $20,819,547 budget for the 2015-16 school year that increases spending 1.78 percent and carries a 1.2 percent tax levy increase: 225 yes, 109 no;
- Purchasing one new 66-passenger school bus, one new 30-passenger wheelchair bus and one new seven-passenger van at a total cost not to exceed $265,000: 219 yes, 111 no;
- Increasing Capital Reserve from $500,000 to $1,500,000. 208 yes, 121 no;
- Supporting the Port Byron Library, $54,600. 235 yes, 96 no
Voters also elected two candidates for the two open Board of Education seats:
- Incumbent Melinda Quanbeck: 240 votes;
- Incumbent Joe Verdi: 247 votes;
- Theodore "Ted" Eiben: 130 votes;
2015-16 Budget Information
2015-16 School Budget Vote
9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Tues. May 19, 2015
Port Byron CSD - Athletic Center Lobby (enter from Athletic Drive)
Proposed budget - $20,819,547
Proposed budget increase - 1.78%
Proposed school tax levy - $5,978,335
Estimated school tax levy increase - 1.2%
Also on the ballot:
Increase Capital Reserve from $500,000 to $1,500,00
Vehicle purchase proposition - $265,000
Two seats on the PB Board of Education
Port Byron library levy proposition - $54,600
Superintendent of Schools Neil O'Brien discusses the 2015-16 budget in his weekly electronic newsletter, eNews, on May 8. Read the edition below.
The school budget vote is more than just voting on the annual budget. This year, we have three additional items on the ballot for your consideration.
We have the annual bus proposition. The bus vote goes back for decades. In years past, the school district would purchase buses through bonds to be paid over five years. We still hold the annual vote, which gives us the right to borrow for busses, but have not actually bonded for a bus in the past eight years. We instead budget the buses and purchase them at the end of the school year. That way, if we had unexpected costs in special education placements of new students, or if something went wrong with a capital piece of equipment, we would then be forced to use the capacity to borrow to buy new buses. Otherwise, over the past eight years we have worked hard to control costs to the best of our ability to avoid any additional interest costs when buying buses. It is just one of the many changes we've made over the past decade in order to operate an economically responsible school district.
The other proposition includes increasing the capital reserve to $1.5 million dollars. Again, we use the capacity to minimize the costs of borrowing money to fund capital projects. The state will reimburse 90 percent of our projects and when we can reserve money we are able to reduce borrowing costs. The increase in capital reserve aligns with our goal to minimize or eliminate property tax increases when we have a capital project. The increase in the reserve has no bearing on property taxes; it is saved for future use. It is like saving money from your paycheck over a period of time so when you buy a car you have the ability to use cash instead of taking out a loan.
The third and last vote is for seats on the school board. We have two seats open and three candidates. Two of the candidates, Mindy Quanbeck and Joe Verdi, are currently on the school board. The third candidate, Ted Eiben, served on the board nine years ago and wishes to return.
Please be ready to vote on these three items in addition to the annual budget. As always, feel free to drop me a note or speak to anyone of our board members on the items mentioned above. Democracy is the cornerstone to public school in New York. We are one of the few states who have residents directly vote on school budget and propositions. Please take advantage of this gift and right.
2015-16 Budget Notice
Click on the document to view an enlarged version (PDF).
What is the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA)?
Ending the Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) is a priority for the Port Byron Central School District. The GEA was introduced in 2010 as a way for the state government to close its budget deficit. It did so by spreading the funding shortfall around to all school districts through a GEA reduction to the overall Foundation Aid due to schools.
Click here to watch an informative video about the Gap Elimination Adjustment and how it has cost the Port Byron School District over $8 million in state aid.
Click here to watch a video that is being shown at school advocacy events across New York state. This video outlines how the state budget is affecting our schools.