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Mt. Kisco Daily Voice serves Mt. Kisco, NY

Bedford School District Tax Increase Shrinks

BEDFORD, N.Y. — Property owners within the Bedford Central School District will see a lower-than-expected school tax bill for the coming year, according to a district official.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Mark Betz delivered the news at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday, saying the district ended the school year with more money than expected, allowing for a slightly lower tax levy increase for 2012-2013.

Overall, Betz said, the district started the 2011-2012 fiscal year with $15.4 million in its coffers and ended the year with $16.8 million, a $1.4 million increase.

Betz said the district's budget surplus grew for a variety of reasons, and that surplus will be used to lower the amount of tax revenue to be collected from property owners.

The budget now calls for a 2.6 percent increase over the past year's figure. Originally, the school’s budget called for a levy increase of 2.69 percent, which, due to certain exemptions, remained under the 2 percent tax levy cap, as it is called, passed by the state last year. Because of a complicated formula , most districts saw their caps work out to higher or lower than the rounded-off 2 percent.

The surplus was created when the district outsourced all transportation jobs to Towne Bus Corp. and sold its entire bus fleet earlier in the year, a situation Betz said the district could not have anticipated while formulating its budget.

“We had no knowledge at the beginning of that budget season that we were going to totally outsource our transportation and sell our fleet,” Betz said, saying he estimated the added surplus from this to be about $490,000.

There were other surprises, as the school district took in $224,282 more than expected in tuition from  other districts and $116,652 more in Medicare government subsidies, among a number of other categories.

After Betz’s presentation at Wednesday’s meeting, the board authorized the district to sign a tax warrant calling for the collection of $107,963,040 in tax revenue from property owners.

Those who are interested in viewing Betz's analysis of the 2011-2012 fiscal year can go to the district’s website .

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