Westhampton Beach Superintendent said Monday a lot of rumors are swirling involving how this year's tax cap will play into budget negotiations, so he wants to set the record straight.
"There is a lot of misinformation being circulated about the "tax cap" legislation and much of it is being fueled by the political rhetoric surrounding school budgets," said Radday.
Radday says that the Westhampton Beach School district, like district's across New York State are facing "challenging financial times and difficult decisions will need to be made."
"Our administration and Board of Education will work closely together to maintain our outstanding educational programs, while being cognizant and respectful of the taxpayers who are paying the bill for those programs," said Radday.
Radday says the district is already looking at challenges, including pention costs, which the district estimates will run $3,891,446 in the next budget cycle.
"The district has no control over these rates, said Radday.
An expected decrease in state-aid will also play a role, said Radday noting that last year, the state, while still keeping mandates in place, cut the district's state aid by 25 percent or by $809,207.
The district is asking that the community actively participate in the school budget process, which will commence on Feb. 27 when the district will explore the budget's transportation, BOCES and high school lines.
"Parents and the community are encouraged to attend," said Radday. "Remaining under the tax levy limit will likely result in cuts to existing programs and difficult decisions will have to be made."
Westhampton Beach Budget Schedule
(meetings will be held at the at 7:00 p.m.)
Feb. 27: Transportation, BOCES and high school
March 5: Buildings and grounds, athletics, special education
March 12: Technology, guidance, middle school, elementary school
March 19: We Care, winter and summer recreation, curriculum development and personnel
March 26: Final budget deliberations
April 2: Budget adoption
Radday says he will also ensure that the information continues to get to the public by publishing information on the district's website.
Radday's Power Point presentation is attached to this article.