UPDATE: Westhampton Beach Schools Adopts Budget that Breaches Tax Cap

The $51,785, 791 budget is expected to be approved by the school board at 7 p.m.

UPDATE: On Monday night the Westhampton Beach School Board unanimously adopted the budget.

Westhampton Beach Superintendent has proposed a school budget that breaches the state's two percent tax cap by .89 percent. It is set to be voted on by the school board at 7 p.m.

The $51,785,791 proposed budget, which was presented to the Westhampton Beach School Board last Monday, calls for a budget-to-budget increase of 2.84 percent and a tax levy increase of 2.89 percent.

The spending increase, said Radday mostly accounts for contracts and payments to the NY State Retirement Fund. Radday the district is looking at a 3.9 percent spending increase just in contractual salaries and benefits, leaving a gap of $1, 516,032.

To make ends meet, Radday has proposed a number of budget cuts, however, he said there are not as many as originally suggested.

Cuts include:

• One elementary school teacher

• One middle school reading teacher

• The director of technology

• A district wide speech teacher.

• Two part-time monitors

• One security guard

• The district's adult education program

Despite the cuts, Radday said, "We believe the proposed budget will allow us to maintain the quality programs our community has worked collaboratively with the board to build over many years, while being sensitive to the needs of our taxpayers in these challenging fiscal times."

If the budget is approved by the school board, voters will be asked to approve it on May 15. However, since the budget breaches the tax cap, a super majority vote is needed, which means 60 percent of voters must approve the budget in order for it to be adopted.

According to Radday, in 2011, 64 percent of voters voted in the affirmative and in 2010, 66 percent of voters approved of the budget.

Radday's power point presentation is attached to this article.

What do you think? Will you vote in support of a budget that breaches the state's tax cap? Post a comment below.





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