2019-2020 Budget Information

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What Am I Voting On?

Voters will decide on the following items:

  • A $49,792,463 budget for the 2019-20 school year
  • Selection of three (3) Board of Education members

Read more about each of these items below, followed by a Question & Answer section.

Download the Hudson Highlights: Budget Newsletter (PDF, 1.51MB) posted on 5/3/2019

Voting Information

The annual school budget vote and Board of Education election is on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 between the hours of 12 noon and 9 p.m. Click here for polling locations.

Budget Details

Proposed Budget Highlights Safety and Student Opportunities

The Hudson City School District proposes a spending plan for the 2019-20 school year that continues to support our Vision 2020 goals to: raise the bar, close the achievement gap, align curriculum and instruction, and promote the social-emotional development of our students.

The $49,792,463 school budget would maintain current staffing and programming, as well as build upon efforts for continuous improvement. The primary goals of the proposed budget are to strengthen academic programs (particularly Math and Science), enhance educational opportunities and support school safety initiatives.budget summary

The proposed budget carries a tax levy increase of 2.3 percent, which is below the District’s allowable tax levy limit of 2.5% calculated under New York State’s tax cap guidelines. As a result of staying within the tax cap, qualifying residents would receive a property tax rebate from NYS this fall.

The spending plan is an increase of $972,735 (or 1.99 percent) from the current year’s budget. The increase is largely due to rising costs of health insurance.

Since the majority of the District’s operating costs are related to staff and programs, a careful analysis of staffing and student needs is performed each year.

Similar to last year’s spending plan, the proposed budget focuses on strengthening Math and Science education and school safety. In addition to retiree replacements, a full-time position for Secondary Math (grades 7-12) would be added.

The budget would maintain the School Resource Officer (SRO) at the junior/senior high school who was provided by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for part of the current school year. The 2019-20 budget would continue this service in addition to the existing SRO at the elementary school provided by the Hudson Police Department. For 2019-20, the District would pay $40,000 each to the City of Hudson and Columbia County for these positions, covering approximately 50% of the average yearly salaries for these city/county employees.

In efforts to expand college- and career-readiness initiatives throughout the District, the proposed budget would continue to support the shift in the District’s mantra, “Destination Graduation to Occupation.” This includes continued investment in career development opportunities and programs.

The budget also aims to grow partnerships with higher education institutions such as SUNY Cobleskill, in order to broaden the college credit opportunities available to high school students.

“This budget is designed to support and strengthen the academic, social and emotional development of all our students,” said Dr. Maria Lagana Suttmeier, Superintendent of Schools. “From a new 2-Year Kindergarten program to more college credit opportunities and building valuable career skills, this budget truly supports every Hudson student along their educational journey.”

The proposed budget also supports students by expanding the professional development offerings available to HCSD staff. In addition to specific subject areas, recent professional development topics focus on building relationships, positive school culture and effectively supporting students impacted by trauma.

On, Tuesday, May 21, the HCSD community will vote on the proposed budget and elect three members to the Board of Education.

What You'll See on the Ballot

NOTE: The ballot has two sides, a front and a back. When at the polls, please remember to complete both sides and select board members on the back of the ballot before casting your vote.

Budget

Voters will be asked to vote ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ on a 2019-20 school budget in the amount of $49,792,463, and for the Hudson City School District Board of Education to be authorized to raise such portion thereof as may be necessary by taxes levied on taxable property of said school district.

Board of Education Election

Voters will be asked to elect candidates to fill three (3) open seats on the Hudson City School District Board of Education. Each elected seat is a three-year, non-paid term ending in 2022. The candidate who receives the most votes will fill the seat vacated by Chuck Parmentier, whose interim term expires the night of the vote.

BOE Candidates

Willette Jones, a current Board member, is running for re-election. No other candidates submitted nominating petitions, therefore Ms. Jones is the only candidate listed on the ballot.

In addition to Willette Jones, voters may write-in names of preferred candidates to fill the three open seats. Write-in candidates must reside within the Hudson City School District.

Questions & Answers

How are school taxes impacted by the recent property value reassessments in the City of Hudson?
If you live in the City of Hudson, you may have experienced changes to your property value following city-wide reassessments performed by GAR Associates and the City Assessor. While school districts have no direct role in the reassessment process, we want to share some information about how the reassessment process is related to your school taxes.

If your assessment changes, you should not assume your taxes will increase. Your taxes may go up, down or stay the same. Furthermore, a reassessment does not increase the amount that schools or other local governments collect in taxes. It is a common misperception that a reassessment will automatically increase taxes and/or be a windfall for schools or local governments. Click here to learn more about how the reassessment process is related to your school taxes.

Why is a 2.3% increase within the tax cap?
The New York State (NYS) property tax cap law requires schools to use an eight-step formula to determine how much they can increase their tax levy each year. Although it is often described as a “2% tax cap,” the calculation does not always work out to be an even 2 percent. Very few school districts have a 2% tax cap because the formula causes the cap to vary from district to district.

The maximum tax levy increase calculated for HCSD is 2.5 percent. However, the Board of Education decided to reduce the tax levy for taxpayers and propose a budget with a smaller increase of 2.3 percent. This is within the maximum allowable tax levy increase, or “tax cap.”

Why isn't the tax cap really 2 percent?
Even though elected officials often refer to New York's Property Tax Cap law as a "2% tax cap," it is not entirely accurate. Here is a short video that explains how NYS uses a formula to determine each school district's tax cap number, which rarely works out to 2 percent:

What factors contribute to the tax cap?
There are five main factors that contribute to the tax cap, or allowable increase in the tax levy. They are: the current year tax levy, inflation rate, capital and retirement exclusions, payments in lieu of taxes, and tax base growth factor (set by the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance). These factors change every year and vary from district to district.

Is there a property tax rebate this year?
Yes, the NYS Property Tax Rebate applies for 2019. To qualify, homeowners must receive the STAR exemption, make less than $275,000 a year, and live in school districts that pass budgets at or below the tax cap. Historically, Hudson’s budgets have stayed within the calculated tax cap and will do so again for 2019-20. Therefore, taxpayers who meet the eligibility requirements should receive a rebate check from the state. To learn more, visit the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance’s website.

What happens if the budget is defeated?
If the budget is not approved on May 21, the District may resubmit the original budget or submit a revised budget to the voters on June 18. If the revised budget proposal is not approved by the required margin, the Board of Education must adopt a contingency budget with a 0% increase in tax levy. Under a contingency budget, the District is only allowed to expend funds for specific mandates. Each program and department would be reviewed to eliminate non-mandated expenses (e.g., extracurricular activities, field trips, sports) for the 2019-20 school year.

What if I have questions?
For more information, please call the District Office at 518-828-4360, ext. 2100.

Budget Breakdown

REVENUES: Where money comes from to pay for Hudson City Schools

Revenue Source

2018-19*

2019-20 Proposed

Tax Levy

$23,140,218

$23,672,443

Projected State Aid

23,245,010

23,975,020

Other: Rents, Tuitions, Misc.

2,434,500

2,145,000

Grand Totals

$48,819,728

$49,792,463

*Adopted budget was increased by the Board of Education to reflect a $50,000 Grant in State Aid received.

EXPENSES: How money is spent at Hudson City Schools

Expense Category

2018-19 Actual*

2019-20 Proposed

General Support

$5,181,126

$4,828,081

Instruction

24,250,965

24,968,349

Transportation

2,509,974

2,596,421

Employee Benefits

11,715,177

12,049,612

Debt Service

5,162,486

5,350,000

Grand Totals

$48,819,728

$49,792,463

*Adopted budget was increased by the Board of Education to reflect a $50,000 Grant in State Aid received.

revenues and expenses as pie graphs


Three-Part Budgetexpenses by category

By law, school districts must divide their budget into three components—program, administrative and capital—and compare them to amounts from the previous year. Hudson City School District’s three-part budget breaks down as follows:


Program 2018-19 2019-20
Amount 34,765,382 35,951,687
% of total 71.21% 72.20%

Program costs include the salaries and benefits of all teachers and staff delivering pupil services (including library, guidance, health, social work, speech therapy and athletics); also textbooks, instructional materials, equipment, extracurricular student activities, BOCES program costs, and transportation costs.

Administrative 2018-19 2019-20
Amount 4,670,612 4,349,890
% of total 9.57% 8.74%

Administrative costs include the salaries and benefits of administrators, supervisors and administrative clerical staff; public information and printing; insurance costs; legal and auditing expenses; and Board of Education expenses.

Capital 2018-19 2019-20
Amount 9,383,734 9,490,886
% of total 19.22% 19.06%

Capital costs include the salaries and benefits of maintenance and custodial staff; plus debt service, tax certiorari and court-ordered costs, operation and maintenance costs, and utilities.

how every dollar is spent

For every dollar spent:

  • Classroom Instruction & Support Services = 66 cents
  • Transportation = 6 cents
  • Debt Service = 10 cents
  • Extracurricular & Interscholastic Athletics = 1 cent
  • School & Central Administration = 9 cents
  • Buildings & Grounds = 8 cents

Budget Development & Presentations

The following documents were created during the budget development process and shared with the public: