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Cairo-Durham $33.2M spending plan comes with 4.45 percent tax levy increase; budget hearing May 6

Apr 30, 2021 1:30 pm

Andrea Macko is reporting for Porcupine Soup the Cairo-Durham school board will hold a public hearing next week on the proposed $33.2 million budget for the 2021-22 school year. The spending plan comes with a 4.45 percent increase in the tax levy, the maximum allowable under the state tax cap. The proposed plan increases spending by 2.1 percent, or roughly $699,700, over the current year. The increase is largely due to Special Education tuition, health insurance and other contractual obligations such as pension contributions. Cairo-Durham Business Official Jeffrey J. Miriello explained that the actual amount district property owners will pay in school taxes will be influenced by the expiration of the GlaxoSmithKline payment in lieu of taxes agreement. “For the last two decades, GlaxoSmithKline paid no school taxes. They opted for PILOT agreements instead, ...” said Miriello. GlaxoSmithKline, previously called Stiefel Laboratories, negotiated an initial 10-year PILOT with the Greene County IDA 20 years ago. A second 10-year agreement was engineered after the company threatened to close the facility in 2009. As the new school year begins July 1, Miriello said, “GlaxoSmithKline will be added to the district’s tax rolls and begin paying school taxes like most other property owners. ...As a result, most property owners within the Cairo-Durham Central School District will see lower tax rates and decreases in their tax bills next year.” A separate proposition on the May 18 ballot seeks voter approval to purchase six school buses at a cost not to exceed $665,000, for five 65-passenger buses totaling approximately $609,000 and one Chevrolet Suburban for just under $56,000. Cairo-Durham would receive approximately 70 percent in state aid reimbursement for the vehicle purchases. In addition four Board of Education seats are up for election. Three of the open seats carry three-year terms, the fourth is for a one-year term. The candidate with the fourth highest number of votes will take that seat immediately. Five candidates are vying for the four seats: Brian Coletti, Elizabeth Daly, Tonya Frickey, Christopher O’Connell and Carolyn Miller. The public hearing on the budget will be held at 6 p.m., Thu., May 6, in the high school auditorium. The hearing will be streamed over Zoom, as well. Information is available at the district website. The annual school board election and budget vote is May 18. Read the full story at porcupine soup [dot] com.