SALAMANCA – For the second year in a row, property taxpayers in the Salamanca City Central School District will see no increase in their school tax for 2013-14, according to Superintendent Robert J. Breidenstein.
“Our community is still hurting in this extended recession and economic climate,” Breidenstein said. “We weathered the storm of this budget calendar.”
The proposed budget would reduce staffing by the equivalent of nearly seven full-time positions. With no tax increase, the budget to be voted upon is $25.36 million. The current year’s budget was approved at $24.69 million.
Concerns with revenue sources drying up have weighed heavily on the district, the superintendent said.
“It has been a difficult budget calendar, with sequestration concerns, increased mandates and an unconscionable increase in mandated contributions such as retirement costs and a 37.04 percent decrease in grants and federal allocations since 2009,” Breidenstein said.
Those retirement costs reflect an increase of 37 percent in payments to the Teachers’ Retirement System and over a 2 percent increase in those to the Employees’ Retirement System.
Those concerns are not the only thing that troubles those in education, especially during budget season, Breidenstein said.
“The demands to implement common core, online testing,” teacher evaluations “and increased school safety are all incredibly important and necessary requirements that further stretch each and every dollar,” Breidenstein said.
“I am already concerned about what next year might bring. As a district, we will continue to put the students’ needs first, but the ‘fiscal cliff’ has never been closer than it is right now in Salamanca.”
Also on the ballot are two seats for the Board of Education. The candidates are Lance R. Hoag and Janice Tinnerman, both of whom are seeking re-election, and Kenneth Nary.
The budget vote and board election will take place from noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Junior/Senior High School gymnasium.