TICONDEROGA — Voters in the Ticonderoga Central School District approved the revised 2019-20 budget by a count of 523 to 310 Tuesday night.

 "We had some really good meetings after the last vote," Superintendent John McDonald said. "We took to heart what people were saying, and we put together a spending plan that reflected their concerns. We're very pleased with the amount of support." 

The budget was put up for a re-vote after voters defeated the original spending plan in May. It was the only school budget defeated in the area.

The defeated budget exceeded the state-mandated tax cap with an increase in the tax levy of nearly 10 percent, which was more than double the cap.

Any proposed school budget exceeding the tax cap must be approved by at least a 60-percent super-majority of support in order to pass.

In the May vote, district voters went against the budget with 558 in favor and 747 against.

The defeat meant the School Board had to come up with a revised plan, which they did.

The new budget calls for an increase in the tax levy of 3.97 percent, which is below the cap of 4.6 percent.

A simple majority will approve a budget that is under the cap.

In order to get under the cap, the district had to cut three more teachers, some of the athletic programs, and limited transportation for athletics and extracurricular activities.

Additional money from the fund balance was also used to lower the tax-levy increase.

McDonald said he had not heard any negative talk since the revised budget was adopted.

"We are under the cap and I think that makes a big difference," he said Tuesday before results came out.

The state implemented the tax cap in 2012.

It is set at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.

The cap can be adjusted for individual school districts or municipalities based on a variety of factors.

Growth factor reflecting a quantity change in taxable property, tort settlements or awards whose costs exceed 5 percent of the tax levy in the base year, pension contribution increases that exceed 2 percentage points of covered payroll, and capital costs, including debt service, for school districts are all considered in adjusting the cap.

School districts and municipalities are also allowed to carryover up to 1.5 percent of unused tax levy growth to the following year.

 

— Staff Writer Ben Watson contributed to this report.