The Holland School Board has learned that calculations for the district’s tax cap resulted in a percentage so low, the actual tax cap number is minus 1.2 percent.
However, because New York State doesn’t force a district to reduce taxes, Holland’s tax cap for 2014-15 will be zero, School Business Official Laura Bosinski said last Monday. The low number is the result, in part, of the district paying off a large portion of its debt during the past year.
On that note, the new administrator illustrated budget scenarios that could call for a 1, 2 or 3 percent tax hike – all of which would require a supermajority vote or approval by 60 percent of the district’s voters for passage.
Bosinski said each percent hike adds $59,140 to the budget.
The rollover budget, which calls for this year’s programs to be continued next year, as is, would produce a $372,000 shortfall, of which more than half are expenses related to Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Bosinski said $60,000 of that is related to two new special-education placements this year, and about $26,000 of the increase is Holland’s share of a BOCES capital project.
Superintendent Cathy Fabiotos said she is meeting with a representative from the cooperative to determine whether the district is using its services as efficiently as possible.
In another matter, the board agreed to change the timing of its executive sessions.
Currently, board meetings start at 6 p.m. and, if needed, executive sessions are conducted afterward. Starting July 1, however, regular board meetings will begin at 7 p.m. with any required executive sessions beginning at 6 p.m.
Also, the superintendent said plans are moving forward to bring wireless capacity to the district’s buildings. She said the fifth- and sixth-grade wing of the H.O. Brumsted elementary building will be wired during spring break, with the high school scheduled for the summer. Last month the board approved $130,000 for the endeavor, which will include buying tablets for students.