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Voters to get new school budget

by jmaloni
Thu, May 24th 2012 07:00 am

The Niagara-Wheatfield Board of Education is working on a new budget to present to voters after the defeat of the $61.79 million budget presented earlier this month.

District Clerk Robin Vertino said this week that a budget hearing on whatever new budget the district develops will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, in the Adult Learning Center at the high school, 2292 Saunders Settlement Road, Sanborn.

The vote on the new budget will be from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, also in the Adult Learning Center. Voters must be district residents for at least 30 days prior to the vote, be at least 18 years old and be U.S. citizens. Registration is not required.

The board held a special meeting Wednesday, May 23, after the Tribune went to press, at which the budget was expected to be a main topic.

The original budget presented would have meant a 9.9 percent increase in the tax levy, which was more than the new state tax cap. It was defeated 2,004 votes to 1,713 votes, despite being the district's lowest expense plan in six years.

The May 15 election not only brought in a record turnout of voters, but added more than 1,000 new voters, compared to about 300 new voters last year, Vertino said.

At the board's meeting after the vote last week, some board members indicated they would like to keep a tax levy increase to about 5 percent, which would be under the 7 percent tax cap. Still to be decided is where needed cuts to meet that goal might fall. If the budget presented June 19 is defeated, the district will have to go on a contingency budget that would require zero percent increase in the tax levy and result in even more cuts.

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