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Colton-Pierrepont looking at $475,000 spending increase

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COLTON — The Colton-Pierrepont Central School District is heading into the budget process facing a spending increase next year of nearly $500,000, Superintendent Joseph A. Kardash said.

The reason is expected increases in retirement contributions, salaries, Social Security, health insurance and BOCES spending, he said.

“If you total all of that up, that would be about $475,000,” he said. “That’s where we’re starting.”

Mr. Kardash said without an increase in state aid, a spending increase of that amount would translate to roughly a 7 percent tax levy increase. He said he has not yet received the necessary information from the state to calculate what the district’s tax cap ceiling will be for this year’s budget process, but he did say those numbers could change.

“The BOCES numbers haven’t been received yet, and salaries are being negotiated,” he said. “If those numbers change, that could come down.”

Another item that could make the number come down is increased aid.

“Hopefully there will be more aid,” Mr. Kardash said. “Any increase in aid will bring this down.”

He stressed the district isn’t proposing a 7 percent tax levy increase and noted this was only the board’s first glimpse of this year’s budgeting process. Until the district receives its state aid estimates, there isn’t really anything else it can do, he said.

“That’s basically what we have because the governor hasn’t given us any information yet,” he said.

The district’s voters approved a $9,470,000 budget for 2012-13 that reflected a spending increase of $85,000 or 0.91 percent. The district’s tax levy of $6,790,000 increased 2.03 percent.

According to the 2012-13 property tax rolls for the Colton-Pierrepont School District, the town of Colton’s assessed value decreased slightly last year, leading to an increase in the town’s equalization rate. Therefore, Colton taxpayers saw a smaller tax rate increase than those in Pierrepont or Parishville.

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