Katonah-Lewisboro Budget Has Drop In Tax Levy, Spending

SOUTH SALEM, N.Y. -- The proposed 2014-15 budget for Katonah-Lewisboro includes decreases in both the tax levy and total amount of spending over the previous school year.

Lewisboro Elementary School
Lewisboro Elementary School Photo Credit: Katonah-Lewisboro School District

For the tax levy, the decline would be by 3.72 percent, dropping from $102,781,072 for 2013-14 to $98,960,110. Overall spending would go down by 3.24 percent, from $114,879,543 to $111,162,832.

The budget would involve large reductions due to three factors: the closure of Lewisboro Elementary School (LES), health insurance savings and personnel attrition tied to falling enrollment.

Overall, the district's enrollment is projected to decline from 3,374 for 2013-14 to 3,202 for 2014-15.

Meanwhile, the budget also includes funding for full-day kindergarten, with $972,000 proposed.

The tax burden will vary by town, however. Numbers for the tax rate, which are per $1,000 of assessed value, are projected to include declines of 11.39 percent in Bedford, 4.74 percent in Pound Ridge and 5.5 percent in North Salem. The rate is projected to go up by 1.66 percent in Lewisboro.

Voters will also be asked to decide on two ballot propositions; details are in the district's budget newsletter.

Proposition 2 involves transferring $872,500 of general fund money to a capital fund to pay for five school buses with room for 75 passenger seats each, along with a utility vehicle and a wheelchair-accessible van. The district links the measure to a vehicle replacement schedule.

Proposition 3 calls for moving $1,620,000 of general fund money to a capital fund for turf field replacement at the John Jay campus, along with work on the storm drainage system and track. The district said the age of the track and field are reasons for the work.

Voting, which will also include elections for two school board seats, will be on May 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the elementary schools serving as polling places.

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