Written by Joe Scotchie Wednesday, 19 May 2010 16:18
The Massapequa School District has one of the largest budgets in all of Long Island. This year, the school board approved a $176,172,498 budget for the 2010-2011 school year. And on Tuesday, May 18, voters in the school district approved that budget by a solid margin, 3,245 to 2,621. The Massapequa Library budget vote was also approved, by a similar 3,508 to 2,261 margin.
In addition, Board of Education member Tim Taylor was re-elected to another term. Taylor, running unopposed, secured 3,676 votes. Meanwhile, Gail Kubit was elected to the Massapequa Public Library with 3,393 votes.
Prior to the vote, school officials touted the budget, noting that it represented a 2.60 percent increase over last year’s budget of $171,715,173. The tax levy, they added, represented a 2.48 increase over last year’s rates. This, they said, amounted to an estimated tax increase of $13 per month for the average Massapequa household.
While drafting the budget, school district officials said that they had to deal with negative impact the proposed state budget would have on Massapequa’s own budget. Mandated retirement costs, they said, would increase by $2.5 million, while the state aid cut could amount to $3,260,692. Unfunded mandates amount to nearly $17 million, with the bulk of that coming from the New York State Retirement System and Pupil Transportation.
In promoting the budget, school officials claimed that they used up to $3.1 million from its Fund Balances and Reserves, plus the rental monies from two buildings and an Administrative Efficiency Award to keep tax increases to a minimum. Officials also touted such cost-savings measures as Interest Savings on Tax Anticipation Note Borrowing, Utilities Savings From Energy Performance Contracts, and Savings on Cooperative Purchasing and Bidding.