BSCSD Sets Tax Rates, Residents to See Rate Reduction

Ballston Spa School District Budget Presentations Begin

BALLSTON SPA— The Saratogian reported on the first of five budget presentations given Wednesday evening at the high school library. Beginning in November, the 2018-2019 planning process started, reviewing the districts goals, principles and guidelines, according to the district.

Under the principles and guidelines there is a plan to develop a budget that will support academic goals with the school’s fiscal responsibility in mind. According to district documents, future budgets “must be justified by state and federal standards and mandates, enrollment, health/safety issues and district/building goals.”

According to the Saratogian, Brian Sirianni, clerk of the board, gave the preliminary presentation. Sirianni’s presentation included and overview of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s state aid proposal and introduced the governor’s “proposed funding caps for expense-based aid for the fiscal year 2018-19.”

Sirianni went on to say the proposals were intended for “high need” districts, which “doesn’t apply to us.”

The proposed caps would effect STAR reimbursements, BOCES, transportation, building aid and special services.

The Saratogain reported Sirianni saying “54 percent of school budget funding comes from tax revenue and 33 percent comes from state aid, with the balance coming from all other miscellaneous resources, one percent of which comes from the district’s fund balance.”

A decrease in the PILOT payment from GLOBALFOUNDRIES is also an ongoing problem for the district.

Sirianni said the property will continue to drop by approximately $43 billion dollars annually, adding by 2019 the assesed value will be $556 million.

Sirianni also discussed tax rate comparisons, which show decreases for towns included in the school districts, while the budget drivers for the upcoming fiscal year are “increases in the retirement rate change and medical insurance.”

He also pointed to an increase in the cost of transportation and special education services, citing four years ago the budget was approximately $77,000, and this year that number has raised to $260,000.

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According to Sirianni, the next presentation, to be held on March 6, will focus on allowable tax levy limits, expenditure information, and revenue updates, if available at that time.

On March 21, the estimated total budget will be ready. Following that meeting, there will be two more on April 11 and 18, with a final budget hearing scheduled for May 2.

The statewide school budget vote will be held on May 15.

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Current Senior at UAlbany. Staff writer for the Albany Student Press. Proud plant mom. Currently working on graphic design, photography and print making on the side. Writing with a passion for all things art related.

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