• Home

Waverly School District Struggles with Tax Cap

By Jason Weinstein.
The state's tax cap has limited growth in school tax levies this year to .12 percent. But the tax cap is a formula, and some districts are facing an even tighter squeeze.

In Waverly, that district's tax cap is actually minus 5.2 percent. That means the district has to cut $372,000 to stay within cap. One option is to close the Chemung Elementary school where 115 fifth-graders in the district go.

If the school were to close fifth-grade students would go to either Elm Street Elementary or the Waverly Middle School. Superintendent Randy Richards says closing the school will save the district as much as $400,000 annually.

"We're keeping our fingers crossed and hoping the (State) Senate and Assembly will come through with additional state aid. The Board has tentatively agreed to a 2-3 percent increase in the levy. If you take into account that negative cap, it's an 8-percent increase," said Dr. Randy Richards, Superintendent of the Waverly Central School District.

A sixty percent super majority is needed to pass a budget that exceeds the tax cap. Residents in municipalities which pass budgets that go over the tax cap are not eligible for a New York state property tax rebate check.

The school board is scheduled to meet over the next two weeks to hear from the public and decide the fate of Chemung Elementary School.