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Apr 20, 2016 11:19 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays School Board Approves $50 Million Budget That Stays Under Tax Cap

Hampton Bays Superintendent Lars Clemensen presents the district budget on Tuesday night. BY ERIN MCKINLEY
Apr 20, 2016 11:19 AM

The Hampton Bays Board of Education adopted a nearly $50 million spending plan for next year on Tuesday, a budget that stays under the cap on the tax levy, preserves all programming and adds three full-time staff positions.

The adopted $49.95 million spending plan, which will be voted on by district taxpayers on May 17, increases overall spending by 1.3 percent, or $356,000.

Under the budget, the district will be adding two special education teachers at the high school and a clerical receptionist for the district office.

Under next year’s budget, the tax levy—or the amount a district collects in property taxes—will stand at $44,184,331, an increase of little more than 1 percent over the current year’s $43,739,614 levy.

“We put together a budget that does a few things,” said Hampton Bays Schools Superintendent Lars Clemensen at Tuesday night’s meeting. “It maintains the four goals of the Board of Education. One is to present a budget that is under the tax cap, one that maintains programs for students, one that does not use our reserves, and one that does not lay off any of our staff.

“We have been able to do that,” he added.

Officials are also anticipating a roughly eight cent increase in the district tax rate, from $13.36 per $1,000 of assessed value this year to $13.44 next year. That means for the average home valued at $450,000, the owner would pay an estimated $6,048 in district taxes next year, or $36 more than this year.

Board members also approved a proposition that will appear on next month’s ballot. Officials are seeking permission to set aside $300,000 to finance various smaller projects, such as upgrades to the high school library and bathroom upgrades at the elementary school, using any unspent money from this year’s budget rather than placing it in the district’s reserves. The district has proposed similar propositions in the past, prior to securing a $16.8 million bond in 2012 to fund several larger projects.

District taxpayers can cast their ballots on both the budget and proposition between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, in the middle school gymnasium.

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