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Budget talks: Wilson School District

The Wilson School District plans to add one part-time staff member in technology support in its proposed 2016-17 budget, which will be presented in a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the high school auditorium, 374 Lake St.

Superintendent Michael Wendt said the proposed $25,593,096 budget for 2016-17 otherwise maintains staffing and programs. It represents a 2.7 percent increase over the current budget, attributed to “rising costs and the necessity of maintaining programs and contracts.”

Wendt said the district proposes a 1 percent tax levy increase in the 2016-17 budget and does not anticipate an increase in property taxes, which are estimated to remain steady.

In a cost-cutting move, the district entered into a shared-services agreement with the North Tonawanda School District this year, sharing a director of buildings and grounds, Wendt said. He said the district intends to continue that contract in 2016-17.

Voters go to the polls May 17 to approve or reject the budget and also vote on the propositions and candidates for the School Board.

Proposed total budget:

$25,593,096, up 2.7 percent

Proposed tax levy:

$11,325,000, up 1.1 percent

Tax levy increase allowed under cap:

1.9 percent

Planning to go over tax cap:

No.

What could be cut:

“We always try and cut as far from programs as possible,” Wendt said.

What could be added:

A part-time staffer in technology support.

What is a tax levy?

The tax levy is the total amount of 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 is 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.

– Teresa Sharp, Niagara correspondent