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Elmsford School Budget Adopted, Up for Public Vote

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Elmsford voters will now have their say on the district’s future spending.

Elmsford Union Free School District’s Board of Education unanimously approved the 2012-13 spending plan Wednesday night, a $30.2 million budget administrators say has been a struggle to put together.

“This has been an extremely difficult year,” said Superintendent Barbara Peters during the board’s meeting inside Alexander Hamilton High School. “We really pulled on the strings and made cuts as far away from the classroom as possible.”

The budget plan features a slight increase in spending from last year’s ledger, due in large part to rising costs in areas like retirement and pension costs.

The district was, however, able to help offset some of those costs by reducing materials and supplies in a number of departments along with various staffing reductions through attrition.

In the end, administrators were able to craft a budget with a tax levy increase of 2.44 percent, well under the state’s mandated cap.

According to district estimates, Elmsford’s tax rate is expected to climb to $546.16 for every thousand dollars of assessed property value, up $14.39 from last year.

That means the owner of a $100,000 home will pay roughly $1,400 more in school taxes this year compared to last year, assuming the projected rate remains unchanged.

Peters said Wednesday that should voters reject the budget on May 15, she will urge the board to move directly into a contingency plan.

That means cuts of over $635,000, a slash that would have a significant impact on the district, she warned.

“I am imploring people to get our budget passed the first time,” Peters said. “If we have to go to contingency we will have to look at cuts.”

Those cuts could come in busing, athletics, field trips and before and after school help, among a number of other areas, administrators said.

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