Budget & Finance

The school budget is the biggest investment the community collectively makes with its tax dollars. District leaders work to make the most effective use of resources to benefit students, to develop and manage the budget in a responsible and transparent manner and to be accountable to taxpayers. Each spring the board of education adopts a budget for the coming school year for a community vote, which is held on the third Tuesday in May.

In 2019, district residents will vote May 21 on the 2019-20 school year budget proposal.

Community budget meetings scheduled

There will be two community meetings to discuss the proposed 2019-20 budget before the budget vote:

  • 6:30 p.m. May 7: Fayetteville Free Library
  • 2 p.m. May 9: Manlius Public Library

Important Notice: Changes made to Enhanced STAR program

Because New York state made changes to the Enhanced STAR tax exemption earlier this year, all residents age 65+ enrolled in Enhanced STAR now need to also be enrolled in the state’s Income Verification Program (IVP) to continue receiving their Enhanced STAR benefit.

The deadline to enroll in IVP was March 1.

About School Budgets

Who can vote?

In order to vote, you must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and a Fayetteville-Manlius School District resident for at least 30 days prior to the May 21, 2019 vote.

Do I need to register to vote?

No, voter registration is not required.

Can I vote by absentee ballot?

To vote by absentee ballot, you must fill out an application. Contact the district office at 692-1221 to obtain an application if you cannot print it at home.

Absentee Ballot Application

If you want your ballot mailed to you, your application must be received by the district clerk’s office by 4 p.m. May 14. If you plan to pick up your ballot, your application must be received by the district clerk’s office by 4 p.m. May 20.

Absentee ballots must be returned to the district office by 5 p.m. on May 21.

What is the difference between the tax levy and tax rate?

The tax levy is the total amount of money a school district raises in taxes each year from all property owners in the district. Tax rates are calculated by dividing the total amount of the levy by the total taxable assessed value in a community. Tax rates are affected by changes in municipal assessments and state equalization rates, which are determined in the summer. The tax rate is used to calculate each individual property tax bill.

What is the tax levy limit, or tax cap?

The tax levy limit is the highest allowable tax levy (before exemptions) that a school district can propose as part of its annual budget for which a simple majority of voters (50 percent + 1) would be required for authorization. Any proposed tax levy amount above this limit would require budget approval by a supermajority (60 percent or more) of voters. The tax levy limit sets a threshold requiring districts to obtain a higher level of community support for a proposed tax levy above a certain amount.

School tax information

Tax rates for each municipality within the district are set each August. They are based on the tax levy for the year and final municipal assessments for each of the towns. Tax rates vary between towns because property in each is assessed at different levels in relation to full market value. The state assigns each town an equalization rate to fairly divide the tax levy between the towns. The district does not control any part of the assessment or equalization process.