2013-2014 Budget Information

2013-2014 Budget Documents


Voting Results – May 21, 2013

2013-2014 Budget – Passed: 331 Yes – 151 No

Proposition #1 Student Representative – Passed: 421 Yes – 60 No

Candidates Elected to the Board of Education:

  • Muriel Faxon – 394
  • Craig Simmons – 355
  • Gail Behrens-Day – 314
  • Melony Spock – 330


2013-14 Budget

The budget totals $29,175,016 and carried a tax levy increase of 3.6%, which was less than the District’s NYS property tax cap threshold of 4.34%. Because the tax levy increase was below the state cap, a simple majority (50% + 1) of voter support was needed for the budget to pass when residents went to the polls.


2013 Property Tax Cap Information

Contrary to popular belief, the property tax cap does not cap tax increases at 2 percent. Instead, public schools in NY must use a state formula to determine how much they can increase their tax levies by without having to seek a higher percentage of voter approval for the budget. This threshold must be determined and submitted to the State by March 1st.According to the formula, Chatham CSD may increase its 2013-14 tax levy by 4.34%. See how Chatham’s tax levy limit was calculated.

If the year-to-year increase of the District’s tax levy (portion of the school budget funded by property tax) is at or below 4.34%, a simple majority (50% + 1) of voter approval is needed to pass the budget. However, if the District puts before voters a budget that carries a tax levy increase above 4.34%, a super majority (60%) of voter approval is needed for the budget to pass.

More information on the NYS Property Tax Cap as it pertains to public schools is available through the links below.


Proposition #1

Proposition #1 on the May 21, 2013 ballot asked voters to approve the position of an “Ex Officio” non-voting Student Representative on the Chatham Central School Board of Education. A student representative currently sits on the Board, but by law, the position must be approved by voters every two years.


What is a fund balance? How is it used?

A fund balance is a reserve much like a homeowner’s savings account. When a school district’s expenses are less than what was expected or revenues are higher than expected, the money is held in the fund balance. Districts use fund balance each year as revenue in the budget to minimize spending cuts and stabilize tax increases. The money is also used for unforeseen expenses throughout the school year. By law, a school district’s fund balance cannot exceed 4% of the next year’s budget. In challenging economic times like the present, school districts must plan carefully how they use their fund balance to ensure it does not run out.


What is the NY State’s Gap Elimination Adjustment?

The Gap Elimination Adjustment (GEA) was proposed by Governor David Paterson as a one-time fix to reduce the state’s budget deficit. However, the state has continued to use it the past three years to cut millions of dollars in state aid to local school districts. Governor Cuomo’s 2013-14 Executive Budget continues the Gap Elimination Adjustment for a fourth straight year. See how the GEA affects Chatham CSD.