Fiscal plan for 2021-22 takes shape; vote set for May 18

Unadilla Valley CSD is finalizing work on a $23.1 million proposed budget that would be put before voters on Tuesday, May 18.

This year, the budget vote will be held in-person at the school. However, any voters who choose to will be able to apply for an absentee ballot so they can avoid voting in-person. Two seats on the Board of Education will also be up for a vote.

A tax levy limit, while sometimes referred to as a “2 percent tax cap,” will often be higher or lower than 2 percent based on the individual circumstances of each district. The tax levy limit is set by the state. In Unadilla Valley’s case, the district is staying within the tax levy limit, which for the 2021-22 school year is 2.2 percent. 

While the proposed budget for next year shows a 4.2 percent increase in expenditures, day-to-day operating costs are actually projected to be lower than the current year. 

Due to the most recent capital project, Unadilla Valley is receiving additional state aid to offset an increase in debt service, which is reflected in the overall proposed budget increase. State-mandated teacher and employee retirement contributions are accounting for much of the increase in the proposed budget over the current fiscal year. The fiscal plan for next year reduces day-to-day operating costs, while maintaining existing instructional programming. Under the budget proposal, this will largely be accomplished by not filling some recent staff retirements.

While the budget under development will guide the district through the 2021-22 school year, it was developed using a multi-year approach with the consultation of a financial planning firm that specializes in school budgets. One focus of the district’s long-term financial planning is to prevent large swings in the tax levy limit down the road. 

In addition to the budget proposal, voters will also elect two members of the Board of Education. Mark Davis and Carrie Meade will see their current three-year terms expire on June 30. Petitions to run for the Board of Education are due in the district office by April 19. For more information, please contact District Clerk Valerie Doliver at (607) 847-7500 or vdoliver@uvstorm.org

More information will be available later on the budget proposal, as well as on protocols for in-person and absentee voting. 

The Board of Education is expected to adopt the budget on April 19. A public budget hearing is set for May 11. The budget vote and school board election is May 18.