The superintendent of Cherry-Valley Springfield Central School proposed keeping the tax levy below the state’s 2 percent tax cap for the 2013-14 school year.
During his first presentation of the district’s proposed budget, Robert Miller said he would never propose a tax levy at exactly what the threshold allows because that would leave no wiggle room for audit reviews. He proposed a tax levy increase of 2.9 percent. The district has not had a tax levy increase of more than that in the past three years, according to Miller. He said the increases have been 1.9, 1.9 and 2.9 (going back three years in that order). The maximum allowable levy under the cap would be a 3.8 percent increase.
“I think the 2.9 percent increase will be one of the lowest in the area,” Miller told members of the board.
Board member Corey Webster said he did not think the school should be comparing itself with other districts.
“If they want to go ahead and run things into the ground that is their business,” he said. “I think what we need to try to do is make it so we do not run our school into the ground.”
According to Miller, the board should not only be thinking about the short term.
“The choices that you make early now are going to impact five years from now,” he said. “I get what you are saying, but the lower we keep it now, the more in danger we are of having to override the levy limit in the future.”
Webster recommended seeing a budget that would reflect a tax levy increase lower than 2 percent.
“I know state money will not be there forever. I know we would like to pretend it will be,” he said.
Miller agreed to draw up a few other proposals for the board to look over during its next meeting in March.