School leaders lay out tax levy limit, provide MacArthur update

By Jillian Marshall

School leaders lay out tax levy limit, provide MacArthur update

February 12, 2014 Updated Feb 12, 2014 at 8:10 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Binghamton City School District leaders laid out next year's potential tax levy limit on Tuesday, which could bring more than $41 million for the coming school year.

But it'll take the approval of the public to come to fruition.

Kathy Blackman, an accountant from Broome-Tioga BOCES, presented the Board of Education with a preliminary tax levy limit of 4.62 percent, which works out to be more than $41.2 million.

That limit is the highest the district can go without a supermajority vote from taxpayers. If the board chooses to exceed that limit, it would need more than 60 percent of voters to agree.

"The tax levy is what they ultimately go out with in order to raise taxes for the district. The levy limit is calculated through a formula that's provided through the Office of the State Comptroller," Blackman said.

The formula has eight steps, and it's designed to allow the district to grow naturally each year. The allowable growth factor sits at 1.46 percent.

"For Binghamton, they have some things happening that are causing their local share of expenses to increase," Blackman said.

One of those things is the construction of MacArthur Elementary, which may have its opening date delayed.

The state's education department has not approved the full project for the school, but has approved portions of the plan.

With a contingency plan, the district would able to bid for site and structural packages. This contingency plan is letting the district stay near its schedule.

As of now, Assistant Superintendent Karry Mullins said the district is expecting the school to open for the 2015-2016 school year as long as the state approves the package soon.

Mullins will present the first draft of the budget on Wednesday during the Board of Education's work session.

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