Mayfield budget includes tax hike

MAYFIELD – The Mayfield Central School District unveiled more of its budget plan during a public hearing Tuesday, showing the tax levy rising by 3.5 percent and spending decreasing by 3.59 percent.

Speaking to a small group of parents and residents of the district, Superintendent Paul Williamsen thanked the advocacy committee for its work contacting state Sen. Hugh Farley and Assemblyman Marc Butler to lobby for an increase in state funding to schools.

“Our story is very simple; we want the best programming for our kids,” Williamsen said.

According to a handout at the hearing, the 2013-14 budget includes an increase to the local tax levy of $236,788, or 3.5 percent. The state tax-levy cap for the district was 4.1 percent.

According to information from the district, the tax rate is expected to rise 75 cents to $22.28 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

However, the exact tax rate will not be determined until August.

In 2012-13, total expenditures for the district were $17.3 million, while the 2013-14 budget is $16.7 million.

Williamsen said the district was able to save money by not replacing teachers who retired or resigned. The district also is expecting to save money by eventually sharing a Committee for Special Education chairperson and a superintendent with the Northville Central School District.

The two school districts have discussed sharing a superintendent. Williamsen is retiring in June. Currently, Debra M. Lynker is serving as the Northville district’s superintendent.

The total savings for employee benefits is expected to be $721,000, a 13.79 percent drop from this school year. Other items in the budget that project savings from this year include $18,000 into debt service and $86,000 in instruction expenditures.

Some revenues increased as well. According to information from the district, $279,000 in state aid increases were given to the district, totalling $8.7 million. That would allow the district to use less of its fund balance. While the district used $1.1 million from its fund balance in the 2012-13 budget, it would only use $638,000 from it in the 2013-14 budget proposal.

The spending plan includes the restoration of some programs.

As a result of the additional aid, information from the district said, the district would add two part-time positions for elementary art and music education, and a section of pre-kindergarten, and restore junior varsity sports.

District residents will vote on the budget proposal Tuesday at the high school gymnasium lobby from noon to 8 p.m.