Bridgehampton School Floats $14.36 Million Cap-Compliant Budget

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The tax levy cap was implemented in the 2012-13 school year and has impacted school districts’ spending since its inception, school officials say. Chris Lester image

Budget proposal: $14,356,463

Year-over-year spending increase: $577,984 (4.2 percent)

Tax levy included in budget: $12,623,558 (5.54 percent increase)

Tax cap limitation: At the maximum increase

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After signaling early this year it would not attempt to pierce the tax levy cap, as the district has done twice in the last three years, the Bridgehampton School District committed to a $14,356,463 budget proposal that stays at the tax levy cap and requires a simple majority of voter approval to pass on Tuesday, May 16.

The proposed budget accommodates increases for employees’ medical and dental insurance, which is rising by 6.2 percent to about $1.9 million. It adds money to hire more special education staff and to get additional faculty certified as teachers of English to speakers of other languages, and includes increases to special education transportation and funding for an elementary school coding class initiative. Spending on computer-assisted instruction will more than double, up to $339,875.

For the first time in recent history, the district will not rely on the use of its reserve funds to offset costs in the budget.

The school district tax rate is estimated at $1.67 per $1,000 of assessed value, down slightly from the current year. That means the average single-family house valued at $2 million would see a decrease of $35 in taxes next year if this budget is approved and assessed values in Southampton Town remain the same.

Bridgehampton School officials did not respond to specific questions about the budget by press time this week.

Voting is on Tuesday from 2 to 8 p.m. in the school gymnasium.

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