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May 13, 2013

Tax levy up 4.69 percent at Chateaugay Central

CHATEAUGAY — The tax levy in Chateaugay Central School District’s proposed 2013-14 will go up 4.69 percent if the plan is approved by voters.

The spending plan is set at $11,718,039, an increase of 1.81 percent from this year.

The tax levy, or amount to be raised by taxes, is $2,800,543, an increase of 4.69 percent.

The current average tax rate is $13.93 per $1,000 of assessed-property value.

RISING COSTS

As most taxing entities are finding, health-insurance and retirement benefits are pushing budgets higher, and the Chateaugay District is no exception.

Superintendent Dale Breault said the Teachers Retirement System and Employee Retirement System “are multi-year averages tied to how the stock market is doing.

“The economy is rebounding, but we’re starting to feel the full force of the crash a few years back, so we’re seeing these huge increases we have to pay,” he said.

That forced the district to propose raising taxes almost 5 percent, yet it will still be able to stay within the allowable exceptions for the state property-tax cap.

All employees pay a percentage of salary for their health care, and the district is in negotiations for a new four-year contract with its teachers union where health-insurance contributions will be discussed.

WIND PAYMENTS

Chateaugay Central applied $485,000 in unreserved fund balance to the budget to lower taxes.

The district saw an anticipated $13,000 decrease in the revenue it receives from two payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements with the wind-energy projects Noble Chateaugay and Noble Clinton.

Breault said the royalty payments the district expected to receive for the first five years of the Chateaugay wind farm have ended, but additional output from the Clinton facility will make that up.

BUS PURCHASE

A proposition to buy a bus at a cost not to exceed $89,076 will also be on the ballot May 21.

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