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Cairo-Durham BoE talks funding gap and tax cap

Mar 15, 2012 4:42 pm
The Cairo-Durham Central School District is currently looking at a budget gap of $924,000 for the 2012-13 school year. At the budget discussion held Wed., Mar. 14, district business manager Lisa Gillette explained district expenditures, projected revenues and the tax cap to an audience of students and community members. She reported Cairo-Durham's top three expenses are salaries (46 percent), benefits (23 percent) and debt service (11 percent). Cairo-Durham's fund fund balance is eroding, she said, but "we are in better shape than many of our neighbors in Greene and Columbia counties." The majority of the district's revenue (87 percent) comes from state and federal aid (44.6 percent) and the tax levy (42.6 percent). "The tax cap has been purposely misrepresented by the governor," Gillette said. She said it is "not really a 'cap,' but rather a way to set a higher threshold for voter approval of school budgets. Based on the tax cap formula, the maximum allowable tax levy increase for Cairo-Durham in 2012-13, is 3.8 percent. Cost-savings proposals under consideration include redistricting 91 Cairo students to Durham, or closing Durham Elementary School. Gillette emphasized the budget process is "far from over" at this point. Board president Greg Koerner-Fox said when considering cost-cutting options, the board is "looking for cuts that least impact students." Listen to the full meeting online (Part 1 and Part 2) at WGXC.org. (Recorded by Anne Horst.)