Bedford School Budget Has 1.41 Percent Tax Levy Increase, Job Cuts

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West Patent Elementary School will be one of five polling places for the Bedford Central School District.
West Patent Elementary School will be one of five polling places for the Bedford Central School District. Photo Credit: File Photo

BEDFORD, N.Y. -- The Bedford Central School District's proposed 2014-15 budget, which will be up for a vote on Tuesday, May 20, includes a tax levy increase of 1.41 and is coupled with several job reductions.

The tax levy, which is the total amount of property tax revenue, would go from $111,603,000 in 2013-14 to $113,174,570, which is by $1,571,570. The amount stays within the state-mandated tax levy cap.

Overall spending would increase by 1.15 percent, going from $125,057,000 to $126,500,000. Aside from the tax levy, the budget would be supported by $10,325,430 in non-property tax funding and $3,000,000 in fund balance.

The budget also includes a total of 18.8 job reductions. The cuts include a loss of four elementary teachers, seven elementary teacher aides and five secondary teacher aides. In the case of the latter, two clerical workers would serve as replacements. In total, the budget also adds 4.8 positions, including 2.4 for English for speakers of other languages and one special education learning specialist.

The district says mandates, including a lack of state support for mandate relief, have caused budgetary problems over the years.

While the tax levy is a single number, projected tax rates vary widely between the district's five towns. Bedford would get a decrease of 2.99, or by $4.14 per $1,000 of assessed value. Mount Kisco would have an increase of 5.75 percent ($3.99 per $1,000), while Pound Ridge would have a 4.31-percent increase, which is $3.46 per $1,000. New Castle would have an 8.86 percent increase, which is $5.95 per $1,000, while North Castle would have an increase of 7.84 percent, which is by $47.30 per $1,000. The district attributes the numbers to property value and equalization rate changes.

The election, which also includes voting for three school board seats, will be on from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with elementary schools serving as polling places.

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