At the Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday night, School Board members were presented with four possible scenarios of add backs to the 2012-13 spending plan, all four of which had as a revenue source a 2.9% increase to the tax levy. This level of increase exceeds the state mandated cap of 2%. I find this very curious. At the meeting, Superintendent Brady made a point of sharing with the audience that it was likely that the only school district in the county which was planning to exceed the cap is Potsdam. It is very out of character for our administration to recommend that the district go out on a limb like this, especially when he did not have a secure majority for this position at last week's school board meeting. To exceed the cap, 60% of the voters must approve the spending plan in May .
There has been much discussion about the tax cap and the way that it is calculated. If you recall, some weeks ago, our administrators believed that the cap would be 3.1 percent. After some consultations with advisors and people in Albany, that cap was lowered because of a bus purchase made with 2010-11 funds, but actually paid for in the 2011-12 budget year. Is it possible that, with some negotiation, the cap could go back up?
Time is running out for you to express your opinion before the vote. All of the people who have attended the meetings have advocated for reinstatement of various positions and programs. No one at the meetings has told the administration and Board Members to hold the tax levy increase at the cap (except maybe me, of course).
It is anticipated that the Board of Education will approve the spending plan on Monday, April 16th, the day that students and school staff return from Spring Break. This is an odd day for a meeting and is required because every school district in the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES must meet on the same day in April to approve the BOCES Administrative budget and election of Board members. I wonder why this day was picked to approve Potsdam's spending plan, too...................