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Yorktown School Board Adopts Budget, Gives $95K Back to Taxpayers

The budget translates to a 2.23 percent tax levy increase. Administrators will give back $95,000 to its taxpayers. Residents will have a chance to vote on the budget May 15.

With the Yorktown school board's approval of a $92,175,000 budget, community residents will have a chance to vote on the 's proposal on May 15.

The will now drop down to 2.31 percent in Yorktown after the school district announced on Monday they had received an additional $190,000 from the state, half of which school administrators decided to give back to its taxpayers. The rest of the $95,000 will be placed into a contingency fund.

"We want to make sure that we're able to fully provide for some of our programs that we know are not only valuable to us, but are growing" Superintendent of Schools Ralph Napolitano said of the decision. "In order to ensure that, because we feel confident they will continue to grow, we'd like to make sure we have something to fund them."

Under the cap, the tax levy may not exceed the prior year's by more than 2 percent, or the rate of inflation, whichever is less. 

The school district is adhering to the 2-percent tax cap, and with the allowable exclusions, the associated tax levy increase is 2.23 percent (lowered from the in March). If voters approve the budget in May, residents in the Cortlandt portion of the district could see an increase of 3.57 percent, and residents in New Castle could see a 1.97 percent decrease in taxes. 

If the tax levy had exceeded the cap, the budget would have to be approved by 60 percent of the voters instead of a simple majority. 

Administrators said the district is $908,000 below the tax cap requirements for the proposed budget, but .

School board members agreed with the decision on Monday to give back a portion of the money back to taxpayers, while also making sure they would be able to fund the necessary programs.

The spending plan, approved by the board, represents a $75,000 increase, or 1.15 percent, from this year’s budget. The tax levy, the portion of the budget funded by property taxes, is estimated to be at about $75,740,987 or a 2.23 percent increase over last year's tax levy, Assistant Superintendent of Business Tom Cole said.

The district is estimating a $1,950,000 adjusted restricted fund balance reserve, it's appropriating $1,285,890 for the reduction of taxes, and expecting to have an adjusted unrestricted fund balance of $3.2 million, or 3.47 percent of the operating budget. 

Jackie Carbone, president of the school board, said she wants residents to understand that all of the levels are lower than last year – the total fund equity declined by almost $1 million, and unrestricted fund balance has declined by $800,000. She commended the administration for being "fiscally responsible" over the last few years. 

For next school year's budget, the school district has also allocated money from the fund balance to pay for the , in case it's declared an emergency. The Yorktown district is one of five school districts that . If the project moves forward, Yorktown's share will cost the district $1.1 million over three years.

The public will vote on the school budget and the two school board seats up for election on May 15 at . Anyone interested in running for a seat, by Monday, April 16. 

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