Riverhead School District

Riverhead’s proposed budget under tax levy cap

Riverhead School Board members Thomas Carson (left), Amelia Lantz and Susan Koukounas at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Riverhead School District Superintendent Nancy Carney has proposed a $120.7 million budget for the 2014-15 school year that carries an estimated 2.4 percent increase to the tax levy — the allowable rate under the state’s year-to-year tax cap law — and doesn’t cut any programs. 

During the school board’s regular meeting Tuesday night, Ms. Carney gave a presentation about next year’s spending plan to discuss revenues and the tax levy, which is the total amount of funds collected from district taxpayers and does not take into account state aid and revenues that account for the rest of the spending.

Ms. Carney said state-approved exemptions allow for a tax levy increase of up to 2.4 percent without the need for budget approval by 60 percent of district voters.

The majority of projected revenues mirror the current school year, including appropriated fund balance surpluses ($2.75 million) and tuition ($1.13 million), according to her presentation.

“We’re keeping all of our programs that we currently have,” Ms. Carney said about next year’s proposed budget, which reflects a 2.6 percent spending increase over the current school year.

Ms. Carney has also said the district’s first debt service payment for the 2011 voter-approved capital improvement bond is due and that it’s expected to increase the 2014-15 budget by about $2.8 million.

Those expenses are not subject to the tax levy cap.

She estimated the district’s career and technology education spending plan will increase by 4 percent — totaling about $1.34 million — because an increased number of students plan to study cosmetology, automotive repair, veterinary technician jobs and audio projection.

Ms. Carney has scheduled a more detailed budget presentation for April 8. The school board is expected to adopt the proposed spending plan April 22.

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