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Rensselaer school budget goes down for second time

Jul 30, 2020 5:45 am
Kenneth C. Crowe II is reporting for the Times Union the Rensselaer City School District's second proposed school budget for the 2020-21 school year was rejected by district voters, Tue., July 28. That means the district will now have to operate on a contingency budget. Districts must have a super majority, or 60 percent of voters, vote "yes" in order to override the state cap on the property tax levy. Rensselaer failed to pass the 50 percent mark, going down just as the first budget did in June. The Rensselaer spending plan, totaling $27.1 million carrying a 9 percent tax levy increase, was rejected on a vote of 355 to 308. The referendum to lease two school buses also was defeated 372 to 289. There are 120 absentee ballots at the Rensselaer County Board of Elections still to be counted, but they will not make a difference in the outcome. The contingency budget will maintain the current tax rate, so the district will have to draw upon its financial reserves or make more spending cuts. “We would like to thank the community for the strong involvement in the budget process,” Superintendent Joseph Kardash said immediately after the vote. Voting Tuesday was conducted in person at the school campus, following the social distancing requirements of the coronavirus pandemic. “All of the election officials would also like to express gratitude to the voters for respecting social distancing and wearing masks. We all value safety,” Kardash said. Read the full story in the Times Union.