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Hamburg School District proposed taxes would go up, for first time in 3 years

The Hamburg Central School District's proposed budget carries a tax increase for the first time in three years, but the tax levy is lower than four years ago.

The up and down is a function of the district's capital projects, said Barbara Sporyz, assistant superintendent of administrative services and finance.

The tax cap also played a part.

The tax levy increase in the proposed 2018-19 budget is $36.71 million, up 5.05 percent. Most of the increase, about $1.4 million, is due to payments for the capital project, Sporyz said. State aid for that will come later.

Districts receive state aid for building projects as a reimbursement after they spend money, she noted.

In comparison, the levy in the 2015-16 budget was $26.97 million.

Under the tax cap legislation, the district had negative tax caps in 2016 and 2017 -- meaning the levy had to go down in those years in order for the budget to be passed by a simple majority.

School Board members approved the $70.12 million budget that adds several staffers Tuesday.

It raises spending 3.42 percent over this year's budget, with much of the increase due to increases in employee salaries, health care and retirement benefits.

At least seven teachers and one teacher aide are retiring this year, and the district plans on filling the vacancies. There are some additional positions in next year's budget: one district-wide music teacher, one science teacher at the high school/middle school level, one district-wide computer aide, a half time academic intervention services math teacher at Charlotte Avenue Elementary and a part-time social worker at Union Pleasant Elementary.

District officials are planning a number of budget presentations to PTAs and community groups, and they will be at the Farmer's Market May 12 in the municipal parking lot.

A budget hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 8 and the public vote on the budget will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. May 15.

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