Annual budget vote set for May 21

Proposal Stays Under the Tax Levy Limit

Voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, May 21, to consider a proposed $19,443,000
spending plan for the 2024-25 school year. Polls will be open from 1 – 9 p.m. at the Duanesburg Elementary School.

The plan maintains all academic programs, extracurricular offerings and athletics, while prioritizing the goals of the district’s strategic plan, which includes providing students of every ability the resources they need to be successful.

The spending plan includes a 2.41% ($458,000) year-to-year increase and calls for a tax levy increase of 2.70% ($236,094), which is at the district’s tax levy limit or “cap” of 2.71%. The proposed plan will require a simple majority vote for approval (more than 50%).

Nearly 93% of the district’s revenue comes from almost equal proportions of New York state aid and property taxes. The bulk of state aid comes in the form of foundation aid, which stayed flat from last year.

“With no increase in foundation aid for next year, we have been very strategic about what to include in the spending plan for 2024-25, and even more tactical about which resources we can pull from to pay for it,” DCS Interim Superintendent Jeffery Ziegler said. 

“The district has been very intentional with its long-range financial planning, which means we will be able to counteract flat foundation aid by allocating $100,000 from reserves and $1.15 million from district fund balance to provide consistency for our community and do what we can to minimize the impact on our taxpayers,” Ziegler added.

He also noted that the 2024-25 spending plan does not include big purchases, new equipment, or staffing additions and said the line items that show an increase from last year are unavoidable mandated costs, like contractual obligations, health insurance, and rising costs from inflation.

What else is on the ballot?

  • Vote on a proposition to purchase three school buses at a cost not to exceed $400,000. One vehicle will be a 71-passenger propane-fueled bus; another will be a 30-passenger gas-fueled bus; and another will be a small passenger, four-wheel drive SUV.

  • Vote on establishing an additional Capital Reserve Fund as a way to help save for future capital projects. The reserve fund allows the district to contribute fund balance to it over the next 10 years, to a maximum of $6,000,000.

  • Elect three candidates to serve on the Board of Education for three-year terms beginning July 1, 2024. Learn more about candidates at the DCPTA’s Meet the Candidates Night at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 16 in Joe Bena Hall. Information about the candidates running for the Board of Education will be posted to the website in the coming days.

Absentee Ballots & Early Mail Voting

Voters registered as permanently disabled with the county board of elections will automatically receive an absentee ballot. Qualified voters may vote by absentee ballot or participate in early mail voting if they are unable to vote in person on May 21. Voters must first fill out an application with the district clerk. There are separate applications for early mail voting or absentee ballot, but the application process and deadlines are the same for both. Applications are available on the district website or by contacting the district clerk, Celeste Junge, at (518) 895-2279 ext. 241. Completed ballots must be received by the district by mail or drop-off no later than 5 p.m. on May 21. Go to the “Voting Info” page of the DCS website for more information and specific deadlines.

The District’s annual “Budget Book” is available online on the “Budget & Taxes” page of this website. Community members may also pick up a printed copy of the Budget Book in the District Office if they would rather view it that way.