District residents will notice the amount of construction that occurred this past summer and continues through the next school year. We’re winding down on our main capital project that was voted on in 2016. That work will be completed in the next few months and final cost reports filed with NYS by June, 2020.
At the same time, the P-TECH collaboration with Erie 2 BOCES and Alfred State continues in the old District Office on Newman. Residents may remember that this project is a P-TECH Academy which will house a full curriculum for area students in grades 9-12 to post graduate obtaining a Regents diploma and an Associates degree from Alfred State University. Read here and here for the original articles regarding this project as it was presented to our SGI voters. There is NO IMPACT to our SGI local taxpayers for the P-TECH Academy capital project. The fact that we moved the district offices out of a separate building and into a school actually helps the budget. When we have a building without students, no state aid is generated on that building as it is for capital project work in a school building.
These two capital projects have NOT affected the school tax bill that taxpayers have received recently. Our tax levy, the 20.2% portion of the budget paid for by our taxpayers, increased by 2.51%, as was the tax cap and was approved by the voters in May.
If your taxes went up in your town by more than the 2.51% that’s a combination of your equalization rate or assessment changes. Neither of which do we, as a school district, control. The equalization rates over 9 towns and 2 counties in the SGI school district range from 98% in East Otto to 14.75% in Yorkshire. I understand that Colden, as an example, has an equalization rate that dropped 3 percentage points and is at 37% of true value. Please contact your town assessor with questions about the equalization rates and assessments.