News and Information
Dr. Christopher M. Manno, Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Manno's E-Briefs, The Superintendent's Scoop
The Board of Education adopted the proposed 2019-20 school district budget on April 17th which will be put before the voters at the Annual School Budget Vote and Board Member election on May 21, 2019. Please see our website to review budget development information and ballot information.
A school district budget is a tool to nurture and support achievement for our students.BCSD continues to enhance programs and services for students. A few highlights of the budget include:
- several new and exciting high school courses, textbooks, and materials.
- continued support for the implementation of a new elementary literacy program.
- expansion of elementary classroom libraries.
- continued support to implement inclusive instructional practices and programs.
- implementation of a Dual Language Bilingual Education "Choice" program.
- continued support to implement District and school technology initiatives, including a one-to-one computing initiative.
- new elementary universal screening assessments to ensure appropriate and consistent elementary academic intervention.
- resources to improve District communications with the community, including, a new District App, a District survey, and a new facilities reservation system.
- improved security equipment and capital work to improve emergency management response
- resources to support evaluation and decision-making pertaining to the District's 2018-19 Demographic Study (Seversky). PLEASE SEE THIS LINK which will clarify any misinformation about BCSD's most recent demographic study. If there are any questions about our demographic study, what it means, or how the District will engage in a process to make decisions related to this, please contact Dr. Manno, Superintendent of Schools, for accurate information; and, please do NOT rely on rumor or social media for information, as this is more often than not inaccurate.
This budget continues our efforts to provide outstanding educational programs for students, as well as sustaining BCSD's fiscal health. The budget is within the allowable NY State Property Tax Cap.
What you need to know about NY State Budgeting and the BCSD Budget
School District Budgets in New York State and The Bedford Central School District Budget
There are few topics that elicit more interest, concern, and passion from citizens than schools and their quality and cost to taxpayers. This is the time of year when school districts across the State develop and present to residents their spending plans for the coming school year, there are many terms and concepts that impact citizen’s understanding of how school budgets impact home budgets. Let’s explore some of those key terms and ideas.
School Districts in New York State generate revenue to fund expenses, i.e. appropriations, primarily from four sources:
Property Taxes: Taxes that property owners, including businesses and other organizations, pay based on the value of their property.
Aid from the State of New York: An allocation of dollars from the State based upon various attributes of the school district and its community. The primary attribute determining the amount of State aid a school district receives is the wealth (property and income) of its communities.
Miscellaneous Sources: These include sources such as tuition received from other school districts or entities that send students to the schools, building use fees from organizations that use school facilities, sales tax, interest income, and other sources of revenue.
Appropriated Fund Balance: School Districts are permitted and/or required to maintain certain reserve funds. These reserves are for particular purposes. For example, reserve funds to help support the costs of school district contributions to employee pension systems, for the costs of unemployment insurance, to support payments of tax certioraris which are legal settlements the school district must pay certain property owners who challenge their taxes and are awarded refunds, and other reserves. For each school year’s budget, districts are permitted and/or required to use part of those reserve funds as sources of revenue.
The most commonly known terms by citizens related to school funding are the “Property Tax Levy” and the well-known “Property Tax Levy Cap.” A common misunderstanding is that the Property Tax Levy percentage increase in a given school year is equal to the percent increase property taxpayers will pay in their individual tax bills. Let’s define some terms to better understand how the Property Tax Levy works.
Property Tax Levy: The TOTAL amount of funds a school district may raise from the communities which send students to its schools. This IS NOT the property tax increase for INDIVIDUAL property owners in the respective towns.
Property Tax Levy Cap: The TOTAL amount the Property Tax Levy may increase in a given school year.
Market Value: The price “most people would pay” for a property in its current condition.
Assessed Value: The value placed on a property as determined by the municipality in which the property is located; it is based either on the full market value or some uniform percentage of the market value. This is different for each town. Assessed values are not necessarily equal to the market values.
Equalization Rate: Equalization seeks to measure the relationship of locally assessed property values to an ever-changing real estate market. Each year, NYS Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS) calculates equalization rates for each of the State’s more than 1,200 assessing units. The equalization rate is the ratio of the assessed value of a town to the market value of the town, i.e.
Equalization Rate = Assessed Value / Market Value
Percentage of the Tax Levy for Each Town: The percentage of that town’s market value over the total market value of all the towns in the school district, i.e.,
Town Tax Levy Percentage = Individual Town Market Value / Total of All Town Market Values
Each Town’s Share of the School Tax Levy: The dollar amount equal to each town’s percentage share of the school tax levy multiplied by the total school tax levy.
Town School Tax Rate: This is calculated by dividing each Town’s share of the tax levy by their Town’s taxable assessed value
Town School Tax Rate = Town’s Share of School Tax Levy / Town’s Taxable Assessed Value
Increases in town tax rates may vary greatly and may be significantly higher or lower than a school district’s percent tax levy increase based upon the market value of a town’s property, the assessed value of a town’s property provided by the town tax assessor, and the resulting equalization rate provided by NY State Office of Real Property Tax Services (ORPTS) .
A common misperception is that the allowable percent increase in the total Property Tax Levy is always 2%. In fact, the percent increase in the total Property Tax Levy varies based on a number of factors. One is a “growth factor” provided by New York State. For 2019-20, Bedford Central’s growth factor is 1.0069. Another significant factor is the sum of “exclusions” from the property tax levy cap. Bedford Central’s most significant exclusion is debt service, which is the payment on debts that have been approved by voters. For 2019-20, there is an increase in such payments as a result of a 2013 voter-approved capital improvement project which made numerous facilities improvements to the District schools.
The “2%” figure that most taxpayers think of when referring to the property tax levy cap is NOT always 2%. It is another growth factor provided by the NY State Education Department which is equal to 2% OR the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. For 2019-20, this growth factor is 2% because inflation is currently higher than 2%. This 2% growth factor plus allowable exclusions which include an increase in debt service yields a 3.81% allowable increase in the Bedford Central School District tax levy for 2019-20.
The Bedford Central School District proposed budget for 2019-20 is $138,551,898 with a Property Tax Levy of $125,716, 242 which is at the allowable tax levy cap.
The budget-to-budget increase for 2019-20 is 2.42% with an average increase from 2010-11 to 2019-20 of 1.93%. The 2019-20 BCSD Budget Dateline provides an overview of the school district budget and can also be found on the District website, www.bcsdny.org.