Public schools are among the most significant investments that any community makes collectively. District leaders work to make the most effective use of resources to benefit students, to develop and manage the budget in a responsible and transparent manner, and to be accountable to taxpayers. Each spring the Board of Education adopts a budget for the coming school year for a community vote, which is held on the third Tuesday in May.
2020-21 Budget Development Timeline
- 12/09/19 – Distribute FY20/21 Budget Forms
- 01/13/20 – Begin budget entry on central office budget items
- 1/21 – 1/29 – Conduct budget session meetings with stakeholders. Receive and review completed budget forms from Admin Council, Special Programs, Athletics, Buildings & Grounds, Information Technologies and Food Services.
- 01/22/20 BOE appoints Board of Election Registrars (by 2/13 of each year per 16 Ed Law 2606)
- 01/22/20- BOE resolution sets the following dates as voter registration days (§2606):
- ALS – during normal school hours from 3/31/20 – 4/3/20 and 4/6/20 – 4/9/20
- VSGS – during normal school hours from 3/31/20 – 4/3/20 and 4/6/20 – 4/9/20
- HHS – during normal school hours from 3/31/20- 4/3/20 and 4/6/20 – 4/9/20
In a small city, the last day of registration can’t be less than 2 weeks before vote and must be at least 4 consecutive hours between 7AM and 8PM
- 01/22/20 – BOE resolution sets election inspectors pay rate @ $100 (per diem)
- 01/22/20 – BOE resolution appoints election inspectors
- 01/31/20 – Complete data entry of initial budget
- 02/4/20 – Candidates petitions available at Office of the District Clerk
- 02/7/20 – Preliminary popular budget to BOE
- 02/12/20 – BOE Meeting – Tax Cap (preliminary)
- 02/17/20 to 02/21/20 – Winter Recess
- 02/26/20 – BOE Meeting – Tax Cap (final), budget presentation
- 03/01/20 – Submit Property Tax Cap Calculation Limit to Office of the State Comptroller
- 03/11/20 – BOE Meeting – budget presentation
- 03/25/20 – 1st notice of budget availability and annual meeting (at least 45 days prior to vote date – 4 times in 7 weeks) Each such notice must contain date, time and location for both the public hearing and the annual election – 16 Ed law 1608 and 1716.
- 04/01/20 – NYS Budget adopted and implemented – school aid revenue clarified
- 04/02/20 – Tentative BOE Meeting – budget update
- 04/08/20 – BOE Meeting – budget adoption
- 04/08/20 – BOE adopts budget for presentation to voters (districts must complete budget 7 days before the public hearing)
- 04/08/20 – Budget pamphlet authorized
- 04/08/20 – BOE approval of Property Tax Report Card
- 04/10/20 to 04/17/20 – Spring Recess
- 04/20/20 – 1st filing of sworn statements of campaign expenses from BOE candidates to District Clerk
- 04/22/20 – 2nd notice (16 Ed Law 2004 – 4 times in 7 weeks)
- 04/24/20 – Last possible day to Submit Property Tax Report Card to SED (must be submitted to SED by the end of the next business day following the budget adoption but no later than 24 days prior to Budget Vote. It includes TOTAL GENERAL FUND BUDGET; % INCREASE/DECREASE IN TOTAL SPENDING & TAX LEVY FROM PREVIOUS YEAR, and % INCREASE IN CPI. In addition, it must be transmitted to local newspapers of general circulation.)
- 04/28/20 – Budget Notice and “full disclosure information” must be available to public in each school building and public library (7 days before the public hearing/14 days before election day – (16 Ed Law 2004)
- 04/29/20 – Last day for BOE candidate petitions – until 5:00 PM (20 days prior to election 16 Ed Law 2608)
- 04/30/20 – Ballot position drawing
- 05/04/20 – Absentee Ballot mailing may begin (ballots must be mailed not earlier than 20 days or later than 7 days prior to the election)
- 05/04/20 – 3rd notice (16 Ed Law 2004 – 4 times in 7 weeks)
- 05/06/20 – BOE convenes Public Budget Hearing at which the budget must be presented in “plain language” and in the 3 components – administrative, program and capital (7 to 14 days prior to election day – 16 Ed Law 1608, 1716, 1804 & 2022)
- 05/08/20 – Include the postcard in the Newsletter (by BOCES) 6-day notice to all qualified voters in the district (required after the hearing, but no later than 6 days prior to the budget vote which is deadline to be sent is May 13, 2020.
- 05/12/20 – 4th notice (16 Ed Law 2004 – 4 times in 7 weeks)
- 05/12/20 – 2nd Expenditure statement due
- 05/14/20 – Post a listing of those residents given absentee ballots in the Office of the District Clerk (5 days prior to the vote date)
- 05/19/20 – Annual Budget Vote & BOE Election
- 05/19/20 – Statement of canvass delivered to District Clerk (16 Ed Law 2610)
- 05/19/20 – Board of Education declare(s) the result of the canvass (election)
- 06/08/20 – Final filing of sworn statements of campaign expenses from BOE candidates to District Clerk (20 days after the election)
On May 21, Cohoes City School District voters approved (392 to 149) a $43.9 million budget for the 2019-20 school year that will increase spending by 2.2 percent and carry a tax levy increase of 1.75 percent, an amount below the district’s tax cap. The budget for the coming school year was adopted unanimously by the Board of Education at its April 3 meeting.
In addition to the budget, voters elected three members of the Board of Education and approved a proposition that will allow the district to expend funds from its capital reserve. The funds, not to exceed $1,000,000, will be used to reconstruct and renovate the Cohoes Middle School roof and replace the boiler at Harmony Hill School.
The 2019-20 budget totals $43,867,736, a $945,563 increase over the current budget. The budget will allow the district to maintain current teacher staffing levels, educational programs, and special education services with a continued focus on social and emotional support for students.
To print an absentee ballot application, review voter qualifications and find your polling place visit our voter information page.
To look up you tax bill, pay online and more visit our tax collection page.
Understanding New York’s Tax Levy Cap
When Cohoes voters head to the polls to vote on the school budget each year, they 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 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.
Tax levy v. tax rate
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.
Smart Schools Investment Plan
The Cohoes City School District’s Smart Schools Investment Plan was produced in accordance with the New York State Smart Schools Bond Act, approved by voters in November 2014.