PCSD to Hold Budget Vote May 21

The Pawling Central School District will be holding the annual budget vote and Board of Education election on Tuesday, May 21 from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Pawling Elementary School gymnasium, 7 Haight Street. The Board is pleased to present a budget that maintains all programs and continues strong fiscal stewardship of the District. The proposed budget increases the tax levy by 1.25% and continues recent tax levy increases well under the 2% tax levy cap:

2015-16: 0%

2016-17: -1.91%

2017-18: -2.11%

2018-19: +0.23%

The 2019-2020 tax levy increase has been limited through increased State Aid, decreased Teacher Retirement System (TRS) payments, and reductions in projected BOCES tuitions. These reductions are offset by increases in employee health benefit costs and collectively bargained agreements resulting in a 2.87% increase to the 2019-20 budget over the 2018-19 budget. However, the proposed 2019-20 tax levy remains $181,402 lower than the 2013-14 tax levy. The Board and administration’s continued focus on sound fiscal management has allowed us to provide an improved academic program and a stabilized tax levy. The Board is committed to improving our school district while remaining responsive to residents.

The proposed 2019-2020 budget continues the reduction of positions through attrition, including a .5 FTE reduction in physical education staffing following a retirement. The use of money from the Debt Service Fund as a revenue source ($578,000) will help support the budget over several years. The Debit Service Fund is money that was borrowed via voter approved bonding but unused for prior capital projects (e.g. middle school construction, high school elevator, elementary school roof), as well as interest earned through investment of these funds. The District’s plan to use money from the Debt Service Fund as a revenue source over several years will help to keep district taxes stable.

The Board of Education is proud of our students, faculty, and staff, and the improvements that have been made in student programs over the past several years. We are committed to continuous improvement and encourage you to vote on May 21.