Manhasset schools adopt $93.8M budget at tax cap

Manhasset schools adopt $93.8M budget at tax cap
The Manhasset Board of Education met last Thursday in the district’s new administration building, which is located behind Manhasset High School.

The Manhasset Board of Education last Thursday adopted a $93.8 million budget that calls for a 2.02 percent property tax rise, the maximum allowable under the state tax levy cap.

The budget proposal, which will come up for a vote in a referendum on May 16, projects a 2.05 percent increase in spending for 2017-18.

“I think this is a great budget. We are accomplishing a tremendous amount,” said Rosemary Johnson, the Manhasset schools deputy superintendent for business and finance.

The budget adopted last Thursday came in slightly lower than the 2.07 percent increase projected by the budget proposal that Superintendent Charles Cardillo issued in March.

The minor cuts were due primarily to personnel changes “including a retirement and a resignation received subsequent to the preliminary budget,” Johnson said.

The budget achieves a nine-year average tax levy increase of 1.81 percent, and a nine-year average budgeted expense increase of 1.75 percent, according to a district statement.

It expands high school class offerings, provides Chromebooks for third, fourth and fifth graders, and sustains class sizes at the elementary and secondary levels, among other initiatives.

A property tax report card issued by the district last Thursday certified that the $93,890,748 budget will call for raising $83,908,381 from property taxes, which amounts to a rise in the tax levy at the state-mandated cap of 2.02 percent.

Johnson said she believes the adopted budget will win approval on May 16.

“It maintains and expands opportunities for students, within the allowable tax cap,” she said.

The budget process is the last led by Cardillo, who will retire on June 30.

Asked if Cardillo’s impending departure changed anything about the process, Johnson said, “No, there was nothing different this year.”

“We have a very detailed process that has served us well,” she added. “I fully anticipate it will be maintained next year.”

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