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Dobbs Ferry Board of Ed Updates Budget

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – The Dobbs Ferry Board of Education broke down the school district’s updated budget for 2012-2013 at its last meeting while seeking to clarify any misunderstandings.

The district's revised budget is $ 38,619,809, which is down from its proposed budget of $38,709,677 from Feb. 16.  This year’s budget is a 1.44 percent increase over the 2011-2012 budget of $38,073,156.  This comes along with a 1.97 percent tax levy increase and a 2.71 percent increase in tax rate.

“The problem is the tax rate is a moving target,” said Board of Education President Lynne Black.

A presentation prepared by the district's Director of Finance and Facilities Sylvia Fassler-Wallach stated that the district is facing source of revenue decreases in state aid, tuition and other services. This will be offset by increases in property taxes, sales taxes and health services to create the 1.44 percent increase in the total budget. Health services increased by more than 15 percent, which Fassler-Wallach said had an explanation.

“The rate has gone up because there are fewer students to divide the costs by,” she said.

The budget is set to be adopted by the board of education at its next meeting on April 19.  Dobbs Ferry Superintendent Lisa Brady said the board will have a presentation to help people understand the intricacies of the process, such as the difference between the tax rate and the tax cap levy.

“We’re doing a presentation on the 25th and I agree it can be hard for people to understand,” she said.

Making sure people understand what they are voting on was one of the board’s top concerns and board member Robert Reiser mused that if he can figure it out then the public will be fine.

“I was finally able to grasp that so I think it can be communicated [to the public],” he said.

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