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Budget Talks: Cleveland Hill School District

Cleveland Hill’s proposed school budget for 2016-17 will probably go up just 0.05 percent, to $31,044,709, which is only $16,468 more than this year, said Dennis Corsaro, business manager for the school district at Wednesday night’s board meeting.

Being cut from the last draft of the budget are about 10 items, including a capital outlay. Apart from these relatively small items, Corsaro said the district isn’t planning to cut anything of substance.

“We’re not reducing any programs. We’re not reducing any activities,” Corsaro said. “This is a fully funded budget.”

For the second year in a row, Cleve-Hill is lowering its tax levy.

District leaders hope that they can continue to maintain their programs and staffing, along with the possibility of reducing taxes in the future.

Preliminary budget:

• Proposed total budget: $31,044,709 – up 0.05 percent from this year.

• School administrators have gotten approval from the School Board to reduce the tax levy. They’ll have final tax levy information at the next board meeting, when the budget is scheduled to be adopted. The next meeting is at 6 p.m. April 19 in the community room at 105 Mapleview Road in Cheektowaga.

• Tax levy increase allowed under tax cap: 1.9 percent

• Planning to go over tax cap? No.

• What could be cut: Some equipment.

• What could be added: No changes.

What is a tax levy?

The tax levy is the total amount in taxes collected from property owners.

What is the tax cap?

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo instituted the tax cap three years ago to help control local taxes. It’s billed as a 2 percent tax cap but is actually based on the rate of inflation. Each district’s cap is different because of a complicated formula and can be higher or lower than 2 percent. Districts need 60 percent of votes – called a super majority – to approve a budget that goes over the tax cap. They need only one vote over 50 percent to pass a budget below the tax cap.

– Lauren D’Avolio, Suburban Correspondent