The Quogue School Board adopted a $7.68 million spending plan last week that will keep the district below the new tax levy cap that’s being implemented by Albany this year.
According to a press release issued by School Superintendent Richard Benson, next year’s budget represents a $129,772 increase in overall spending, or 1.72 percent, from the current year’s $7.55 million budget.
The adopted spending plan comes with a 1.76 percent increase in the tax levy—or the amount that a school district can raise in property taxes—from $6.86 million this year to $6.98 million next year. Because the board did not pierce the cap, only a majority of taxpayers must sign off on the spending plan on May 15 for it to pass. According to Mr. Benson’s release, the district could have raised the tax levy to $7.01 million and still sneak under the cap.
School Board members also set the projected tax rate for next year. The tax rate is expected to increase by 4 cents, or almost 2.1 percent, from $1.93 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to $1.97. The tax rate does not get finalized until the fall and, until then, is subject to change.
If the tax rate stays as is, a taxpayer whose house is valued at $1 million can expect to pay approximately $1,970 in school property taxes next year, or $40 more than this year.
According to a budget breakdown provided by Mr. Benson, the district was able to maintain all current staffing and programming. The district had to hold off on expanding its laptop technology initiative and delay the purchase of new materials and supplies.
Mr. Benson did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the budget.