ATHENS — Coxsackie-Athens Central School District officials held their annual budget hearing Thursday at Edward J. Arthur Elementary School to unveil the proposed $34.7 million budget for 2022-23.
The 2022-23 general fund budget will increase by 2.09%. There will be a 2.92% tax levy increase.
The district announced a total budget expenditure of $34,710,768, which will fall below the state tax cap. The proposed expenditure budget has been determined by the combined anticipated revenue amount of $32,985,768 and appropriated fund balance.
The annual school budget election is Tuesday. Voters may cast their ballots at the Coxsackie Elementary School and Edward J. Arthur Elementary School between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Ten candidates are running for three open seats on the board of education. Three candidates are incumbent: Nicole Canning, Maureen Hanse and Michael Donahue. The seven challengers are: Shelly West, J.D. Fielding, Edward Greenaway, John Greenaway, Samuel Anderson, Tiffany Russo and Jessica Vermilyea.
The proposed expenditures for the 2022-23 school year reflects that the biggest changes to the overall budget will be in transportation and fringe benefits.
“Increases to transportation costs are dependent on anticipated diesel prices going up. Health insurance and retirement costs are also going up. New York state determines retirement expenditures, which is reliant on the economy,” C-A School Superintendent Randall Squier said.
In 2021-22, salaries were $15,828,571. Proposed total salaries for the 2022-23 school year are up slightly to $15,840,816. This increase is a 0.08% change. The total change amount is $12,245.
Fringe benefits for 2021-22 were $7,778,951. The proposed expenditure in fringe benefits in 2022-23 will see a 6.22% increase to $8,263,054, reflecting a $484,103 increase over last year.
Last year’s transportation budget was $2,256,306. The 2022-23 proposed amount is $2,445,273. The board anticipates that the price of diesel fuel will continue to rise and is the cause for the dramatic change in expenditure. There is an 8.38% increase proposed for the estimated transportation budget, which is $188,967 higher than last year’s expenditure.
The Coxsackie-Athens School District has one new teaching hire, a school counselor. There are also five paraprofessionals being added to the district. There will be no cuts or changes to the district’s staff or program offerings.
The budget is determined annually, but Coxsackie-Athens Central School District officials said they like to assess for three to four years in advance.