Is the proposed budget within the allowable tax levy?
Yes. The proposed budget results in a tax levy increase of 2.59 percent, which is UNDER the district’s allowable tax levy cap for 2018-19. Since the budget is within the allowable tax levy, a simple majority (50 percent plus one) is needed to approve the plan.
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What are the key highlights in the proposed budget?
This budget provides for essential increases to our staff, including the addition of a security guard, library media specialist, Academic Intervention Services specialist, foreign language teacher and assistant principal. If approved, the district will enhance its technology to meet our student and staff needs. Additionally, this plan will allow for new playground equipment and the replacement of our cafeteria tables.
Why is the district proposing a new CSE chair/assistant principal?
The assistant principal will maintain an active daily presence in our classrooms, assist with the myriad of requirements related to APPR regulations, work with teachers on developing curriculum and ensure an administrator is accessible in the building daily.
Our new CSE chair/assistant principal will assume all administrative responsibilities related to our Special Education Program and Committee on Special Education, enabling our current CSE chair to focus solely on their daily responsibilities. We did not feel there was a need to add a counselor at this time, as we are essentially adding a counseling position due to the reorganizing of responsibilities.
Additionally, this position will allow the superintendent to focus on his role of implementing the Board of Education’s vision and policies; making decisions about educational programs, spending and staff; and ensuring all construction related to the recently passed bond stays within the expected timeline.
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Why is there a substantial increase in the Chief School Administrator budget line?
When preparing the proposed 2018-19 budget, district administrators and the Board of Education combined funds from the Principal budget line and Chief School Administrator budget line. Since the New York State Education Department granted the approval to allow the combined role of principal and superintendent, the budget line was adjusted for the 2018-19 school year to reflect that change. The Chief School Administrator budget line also includes other budgetary items outside of the superintendent’s salary, and because of this change, the Principal budget line has decreased. The total administrative component is only 3.6 percent of the total proposed budget.
2018-19 3-Part Budget
Since the proposed budget represents a tax levy increase of 2.59 percent, does that mean my taxes will only increase by this amount if the plan is approved by voters?
No. If the budget is approved, the amount that the East Quogue Union Free School District can collect in property taxes to operate for the 2018-19 school year (the tax levy) is capped at a 2.59 percent increase over the current year’s levy. Individual tax bills may differ, based on a variety of factors, including the taxable value of the property as determined by the town.
What is the difference between the tax levy and the tax rate?
The tax levy is the amount of money requested from the Town of Southampton by the Board of Education to balance the budget after state aid and other revenues are considered. The Board does not set the tax rate, which is a function of the assessed value of properties and is determined by the town assessor through valuation of properties in the town. It is important to note that the tax levy limit applies only to the school district’s tax levy, not the tax rate or an individual tax bill.
Why does the district anticipate a DECREASE in the tax rate for the upcoming year?
The Town of Southampton Assessor's Office notified the district of the Preliminary Assessment, which is substantially higher than the current year. Based on the preliminary higher assessed value, the projected tax rate would decrease. Final Assessments will be available July, 2018.
Why is there a second proposition on the ballot to establish a capital reserve fund? Didn’t the community just approve a bond for capital improvement work in March?
While the community approved the bond referendum in March, there are still numerous capital improvements that need to be made throughout the district that will not be funded through the bond. A capital reserve fund essentially operates like a savings account for the district, allowing the district to transfer potential future savings at the end of each school year. This money can only be used for capital improvements and voters must authorize any future expenditure from this fund. Proposition No. 2 is seeking approval from the community to establish this fund.
Will my taxes increase if Proposition No. 2 is approved?
No, if voters approve Proposition #2, to authorize the creation of a capital reserve fund, this will be funded by surplus funds from the 2017-2018 school year.
What if the budget is defeated?
If the proposed budget for 2018-19 is defeated at the polls on May 15, state law allows the school board two options: The Board can either present the same budget or a revised budget to voters for a second vote in mid-June, or it can vote to adopt a contingency budget. As in the past, if the budget is defeated for a second time, the district has no choice but to adopt a contingency spending plan that carries a tax levy no greater than that of the prior year (zero percent increase in tax levy), which would require an expenditure reduction of $575,030.