Budget proposal maintains all existing programs and services

Tax levy set to increase by 1.8%This is an image of a pie graph and text

Fayetteville-Manlius School District residents will go to the polls May 17 to vote on a proposed $98.9 million 2022-23 school budget that maintains existing student programming and supports the district’s strategic plan.

The district’s tax levy, which is the total amount of money the district collects from property owners within the district to support the school budget, comprises 68.25% of the proposal.

The tax levy increase is projected to be 1.8%, which is well below the limit as established under state law. Based upon this increase, the tax rate – which is calculated by dividing the total amount of the tax levy by the total taxable assessed value in a community – is estimated to decrease by a significant margin for most properties because of growth in the tax base, according to F-M Assistant Superintendent for Business Services William Furlong.

Furlong said the tax levy increase of 1.8% is estimated to result in a tax rate decrease of 11.25% for properties located in the Town of Manlius, which comprises 82% of the district.

During a budget proposal presentation on April 18, Furlong used an example estimating a Town of Manlius property assessment increase of 13% to illustrate the levy’s taxpayer impact. For a $100,000 property that has been reassessed to $113,000, the tax bill is estimated to increase by 0.29% or $7.26 per $113,000 of taxable value. “The tax levy continues to be spread out over an increasing tax base.” Furlong said. “This helps to lessen the levy’s impact on a resident’s tax bill.”

Tax rates will also decrease for properties located within district boundaries in the towns of Cazenovia, DeWitt and Sullivan. Because properties located in the Town of Pompey are not reassessed every year, the tax rate will increase by 1.27% or $36.03 for $100,000 of taxable value.

The district also plans to increase the amount of appropriated fund balance by $250,000. This increase will provide cost savings to taxpayers by keeping the levy down, Furlong said.

The combination of inflation, new debt related to recently-completed building projects at Wellwood Middle School, F-M High School and Enders Road Elementary School, an increase in the budgetary appropriation for capital transfer projects, increasing diesel fuel costs and increasing costs in the area of special education are the main areas driving the 5.9% budget increase for 2023-24. Furlong said that if the driving factors are removed, the district’s budget increase is 3.4%.

The district has two primary revenue sources: state aid and the tax levy. Other smaller revenue sources, such as interest income, make up the district’s revenue sources. State aid, which is based upon the recently-enacted New York state budget, makes up 28.2% of the district’s 2022-23 proposal. Last year, the state announced it would fully fund Foundation Aid to school districts, which for F-M means an increase of $2.8 million. Foundation Aid is the primary source of general purpose operating aid.

A portion of the budget proposal seeks to bolster the district’s mental health services, including funding for two additional family-school liaison positions and an administrative coordinator that will oversee mental health partnerships that are available for students and staff members, as well as increasing funding for existing programs.

There are no plans to make reductions to any educational programs or activities that we offer to our students, Furlong said.