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Apr 17, 2019 12:06 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays, East Quogue And Quogue Schools Adopt Budgets On Tuesday

Apr 17, 2019 12:21 PM

The East Quogue, Quogue and Hampton Bays school districts approved budgets within the state-mandated cap on tax levy increases for the 2019-20 fiscal year on Tuesday evening.

The Hampton Bays Board of Education unanimously approved a $54,323,592 spending plan—a 3.2 percent increase in spending from last year’s $52.6 million operating budget.

Larry Luce, the district’s building administrator said that the increase is due to jumps in transportation, special education, health insurance and school operations expenditures. He could not immediately provide a breakdown of those costs on Tuesday.

He estimated that the district’s tax rate would decrease from $13.02 to roughly $12.10 per $1,000 of assessed value. Based on that projection, a taxpayer, whose home is valued at $500,000 can expect to pay $6,050 in school taxes next year—or $460 less than last year.

The budget carries a $47,723,441 tax levy, which is a 2.7 percent increase from the current year’s $46,451,023 tax levy.

At the East Quogue Board of Education meeting, the board adopted a $23,342,616 spending plan for the 2019-20 fiscal year—a 2.5 percent increase from last year’s $22.8 million budget.

The district’s business administrator, Bruce Singer, explained in a presentation that the budget allows for a full-time science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, or STEAM, staff member, as well as a new guidance counselor. Currently, the district employs one school psychologist, according to Superintendent Robert Long. Additionally, salaries and benefits are also expected to increase.

The district’s tax rate is expected to decrease, however, from $11.20 to $9.94 per $1,000 of assessed value, due to an increase in overall assessed value.

The spending plan carries a $23,342,616 tax levy, which is a 2.2 percent increase from last year’s $22,782,815 tax levy. Therefore, a taxpayer whose house is valued at $500,000 can expect to pay roughly $4,970 in school taxes next year—or $630 less than last year.

Also on Tuesday, the Quogue School Board of Education approved a $8,757,968 operating budget for the 2019-20 school year—a 4.9-percent increase from last year’s $8.3 million spending plan.

Superintendent Jeffrey Ryvicker attributed the rise in expenditures to several lines of the budget. Costs associated with the district’s STEAM instructional initiative are expected to increase by roughly $60,000 for the 2019-20 school year. Additionally, the district expects to pay approximately $60,000 more in literacy instruction, $40,000 in professional development, $120,000 in health care, and $30,000 for the addition of a guidance counselor.

Additionally, the district’s tax rate is anticipated to increase from $1.94 to $2.00 per $1,000 of assessed value, meaning a taxpayer, whose home is valued at $500,000, can expect to pay $1,000 in school taxes next year—a 3.1 percent increase, or $30 more than last year.

Mr. Ryvicker said that the tax levy is also expected to increase, from $7,402,458 to $7,707,001—a 4 percent increase.

District taxpayers will vote on the proposed budgets at their respective school districts on May 21.

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