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March 7, 2012

Newfane addressing $1.7M budget gap

NEWFANE — At its March 20 meeting, Newfane Board of Education members will see a preliminary version of a budget that will cover a $1.78 million spending gap.

Superintendent Christine J. Tibbetts unveiled the current form of the budget at a meeting Tuesday. The $34 million spending plan is a $2.5 million increase from the current school year, but that spending total could go down following the March 20 meeting.

“We will be making careful decisions about what we fund,” she said.

As every school in New York is, Newfane is subject to the new property tax cap signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January. Under the law Newfane can only raise its tax levy, the revenue that comes from property taxes, by 2.11 percent.

A raise that high would translate into about $260,000 in additional revenue for the district. Newfane also received an increase in state aid of about $291,000 to about $16 million. Tibbetts said the district is planning to use $3.2 million from its fund balance and reserves, leaving a total of $1.4 million between the two.

Board members will see projections of how a tax levy raise will affect the tax rate. Newfane is expected to adopt a budget by April 17 and hold a public hearing on May 1. Residents will vote on the spending plan May 15.

Contact reporter Joe Olenick at 439-9222, ext. 6241.

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