NP School District Proposes $61.5 Million Budget

The New Paltz Central School District Board of Education (NPCSD BOE) proposed a $61.3 million budget that calls for a 3.2 percent increase in property tax levy for the 2018-19 school year. Out of the total $61.3 million budget, $42.4 million will be generated by property taxes. 

The proposed budget, which was first presented in April and will be voted on Tuesday, May 15, allocates for new programs and hirings within the four district schools to preserve the educational integrity of the school system.

The reason for staying within the proposed tax levy is, “The budget proposed adding an elementary school math specialist, full-time technology-network specialists, three special education teachers, a school psychologist and additional custodians,” said Assistant Superintendent for Business Richard Linden. 

Linden also mentioned that compared to the past two years’ budgets, this year’s stays within the tax levy state limit; meaning, the school budget does not go beyond the estimated tax increases. 

Tax levy increases are accounted for and calculated before the budget proposal, which allows the NPCSD BOE to assess the current status of the school system. The 2018-19 property tax levy state limit is 3.2 percent. 

This school year, the NPCSD BOE has assessed that an increase in the tax levy is not necessary. This is not to say that property taxes will not increase, but that they will not increase more than what was already planned for. 

Because the budget stays within it’s limits, it will only need a 50 percent plus one vote in favor to be approved. 

The new positions and programs will use $11.5 million of the $61.3 million budget total. Other expenses include $17.1 million in employee benefits, which is a 5.4 percent increase from the previous school year’s budget, according to The Daily Freeman. 

There will also be $2.7 million invested in facilities and operations, $15.9 million in regular educational instruction and transportation which is an 3.4 percent increase from the previous year’s budget.

In addition, the May 15 ballot will also include the proposed spending of $480,000 for the purchase of three 30-passenger buses and three 65-passenger buses. 

Voting will be held from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the New Paltz High School.