On Tuesday, May 20, Cohoes residents voted to approve the district's 2014-2015 proposed budget with 464 voting in favor and 160 voting against it. The $39,563,149 million budget decreases spending over the current year budget by $14,107, or 0.04 percent, and carries a 0.69 percent increase in the tax levy.
The tax levy increase is at the allowable limit set by New York’s tax levy cap law.
“First of all, I want to thank everyone who came out and voted today. Every vote matters, and we’re very fortunate to live and work in a community where people recognize the value of their schools," said Superintendent Robert Libby.
“This budget represents the first time in more than four years that we haven’t seen a long list of devastating programmatic and staffing cuts. We were able to preserve programming, address new and transitioning student needs, and support an initiative to re-engage those students who have missed out on valuable school experiences outside the classroom environment.”
Residents also elected two members of the Board of Education: Vincent Baran with 515 votes and Mark Charette with 460 votes. They will both serve full three-year terms, beginning July 1. Baran and Charette will replace Christopher Briggs and Ann Marie Hume, who each chose not to run for another term.
When Cohoes voters head to the polls on May 20 to decide the 2014-15 school budget, they will cast votes for a budget plan shaped in part by a law known to many as the Property Tax Cap. Approved by the State Legislature in 2011, this complex law is intended to provide much needed property tax relief.
The law does not create a cap, but a threshold that determines the level of voter support needed to pass the budget every year. That threshold is different for every school district in the state. Learn more>>
The tax levy is the total amount of money the school district raises in property taxes. Actual tax rates are dependent on several factors including assessment practices and equalization rates.
Tax rates are not set until July — after the state certifies assessment rolls for the properties in the city of Cohoes. Tax bills are sent out in September after this process has concluded. The school district has no control over assessment practices — and does not collect more in taxes than the amount it levies.