Budget Information

The annual budget vote and Board of Education election takes place Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School gymnasium. Voting will take place in person or by absentee ballot. View 2021 School Budget and Board Election Legal Notice

2021-2022 School Budget

Development of the 2021-2022 school budget is currently underway. Information and documents pertaining to the budget will be posted here as they become available. 

Budget Documents

Budget Presentations

2021-22 Budget Development Calendar

October 29, 2020Finance Committee Meeting (Contract negotiations review)
November 10, 2020Board Meeting 6:00 pm (Budget Calendar Adoption)
November 19, 2020Finance Committee Meeting (Finance Reserves Plan)
December 8, 2020Board Meeting 6:00 pm (Adopt Fin. Reserve Plan)
January 28, 2021Finance Committee Meeting (State Aid, ERS/TRS)
February 9, 2021Board Meeting 6:00 p.m. (Projected State Aid)
February 11, 2021Finance Committee Meeting (Property tax cap, budget)
February 23, 2021Board Meeting 6:00 p.m (1st Part of Budget – Admin & Operations, Prop. Tax Cap)
March 4, 2021Finance Committee Meeting (Review budget updates)
March 9, 2021Board Meeting 6:00 p.m. (2nd Part of Budget – Instructional, Library & Cafeteria)
March 18, 2021Finance Committee Meeting (Review budget updates)
March 19, 2021Board of Education candidate petitions available from the District Clerk 
March 23, 2021Board Meeting 6:00 p.m. (3rd Part of Budget – Transportation, Benefits, & Special Education)
April 15, 2021Finance Committee Meeting (Review final budget & Recommend)
April 19, 2021Deadline to submit Board of Ed. candidate petitions to District Clerk – 5:00 p.m.
Last day to submit petitions to have a proposition placed on the ballot?
April 20, 2021Drawing of candidate names for position on ballot – 9:00 a.m.  in District Clerk’s office
Board Meeting 6:00 p.m.  Adoption of 2021-2022 Budget
April 21, 2021Submission of Property Tax Report Card to NYSED
Voter Registration – 2:30-6:30 p.m. in Mary E. Dardess Elementary School Lobby
April 22, 2021Absentee ballots become available from the District Clerk
April 30, 2021Copies of Budget and required attachments made available to public upon request
May 11, 2021Annual Budget Hearing 6:00 p.m.
Last day to submit application for absentee ballot to receive ballot by mail.
May 12. 2021Voter Registration –  4:00-8:00 p.m. in Mary E. Dardess Elementary School Lobby
Voter register open for public inspection – 9am-3pm in Superintendent’s Office
May 13, 2021Voter register open for public inspection – 9am-3pm in Superintendent’s Office
May 14, 2021Voter register open for public inspection – 9am-3pm in Superintendent’s Office
May 15, 2021 Voter register open for public inspection – 9am-12pm in Superintendent’s Office by appointment only
May 17, 2021 Last day to submit application for absentee ballot to receive ballon in person  – 8am-4pm Superintendent’s Office
Voter register open for public inspection – 9am-3pm in Superintendent’s Office
May 18, 2021Annual Budget Vote and Election (Absentee ballots must be returned by 5:00 p.m.)

Property Tax Cap Information

Contrary to popular belief, the NYS property tax cap does not cap tax increases at 2%. Instead, schools must use a state formula each year 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 may be different each year and must be determined by the District and submitted to the state by March 1st.

For 2021, Chatham’s projected tax levy increase threshold is 1.81%.

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 the number determined by the cap, a simple majority (50% + 1) of voter approval is needed to pass the budget. If the budget proposal carries a tax levy increase above the cap, a super majority (60%) of voter approval is needed for the budget to pass. More information on the NYS Property Tax Cap is available on the NY State Education Department Website.

Budget Hearing

The annual school budget hearing will be held by the Board of Education on May 11, 2021 at 6:00  p.m. at Chatham High School. At the hearing, the proposed  2021-2022 budget will be presented to the voters of the District.

Proposition II: Student Representative on the Board of Education

Proposition II on the ballot would allow a Chatham High School student to serve as a non-voting member on Chatham Central School District’s Board of Education. A student may currently serve on the Board but, pursuant to education law, this proposition must be put before voters every two years.

Board of Education Election

Voting on Chatham Central School District’s Board of Education election takes place as part of the annual school budget vote on May 18, 2021. There are two open seats on the Board in 2021. More information is available on our 2021 Board of Education Election page.

Absentee Ballots

Applications for absentee ballots may be applied for at the Office of the District Clerk. Applications must be received by the District Clerk prior to 4:00 p.m. on May 11, 2021 if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter; or prior to 4:00 p.m. on May 17, 2021 if picking up the ballot in person.

For 2021, NYS allows the fear of contracting COVID-19 as a valid reason to request to vote by absentee ballot. 

The Education Law also makes special provisions for absentee voting for “military” voters of the District. Specifically, the law provides a unique procedure for “military ballots” in school district votes. Whereas absentee ballot applications and absentee ballots must be received by the voter by mail, a military voter may elect to receive his/her absentee ballot application and absentee ballot by mail, email or facsimile. The military voter must, however, return his/her original military ballot application and military ballot by mail or in person. The Clerk of the Board shall transmit the military voter’s military ballot in accord with the military voter’s preferred method of transmission not later than 25 days before the vote. The Clerk of the Board must then receive the military voter’s military ballot by mail or in person not later than 5:00 p.m. on the day of the vote.

Voter Qualifications:

To be eligible to vote you must be:
• A citizen of the United States 18 years of age or older
• A resident of the Chatham Central School District for a period of 30 days or more directly preceding the date of the vote
• Registered to vote with either the School District or the Columbia County Board of Elections

Voter Registration

If you are not registered to vote, you may register in person at one two voter registration days the District has scheduled for 2021.

  • Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 2:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School lobby
  • Wednesday, May 12, 2021 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Mary E. Dardess Elementary School lobby

Current School Year Budget

The 2020-21 budget totals $32,356,855 and carried a projected tax levy increase of 1.67 percent, which was under the limit set by New York State’s property tax cap of 1.72 percent. Spending is up a total of $773,465, a 2.45 percent increase from the 2019-20 budget, due largely to inflation, contractual obligations, and rising health insurance and retirement costs. The District used reserves and fund balance to reduce the impact of revenue shortfalls  and to help hold the tax levy increase under the tax cap. More information is available on our 2020-21 School Budget Information page.

Budget Information from Previous Years

2019-2020 Budget Information
2018-2019 Budget Information
2017-2018 Budget Information
2016-2017 Budget Information
2015-2016 Budget Information
2014-2015 Budget Information
2013-2014 Budget Information
2012-2013 Budget Information
2011-2012 Budget Information
2010-2011 Budget Information
2009-2010 Budget Information

Questions or comments about the budget?

Email them to budget@chatham.k12.ny.us