F-M voters approve $85.9 million budget; elect three board members

On May 21, Fayetteville-Manlius School District voters approved the district’s $85.9 million 2019-20 budget proposal, elected three board of education members and approved the purchase of five new buses. The budget proposition passed by 74% with 899 yes votes and 314 no votes.

The following results do not include 38 absentee ballots; however, they will not change the outcome of the budget vote, propositions or board election.

District-related propositions

  • An $85,874,682 budget for the 2019-20 school year that increases spending 3.59% ($2,975,990) and carries a 2.94% tax levy increase and an estimated tax rate increase of 0.24%: 899 yes; 314 no
  • Purchasing five new school buses at a total cost not to exceed $675,137:  913 yes; 299 no

Board of education election

Three candidates sought election to three open board of education seats. They are:

  • Elena Romano: 950 votes;
  • Daryll Fitch Wheeler: 1,014 votes; and
  • Mark Vislosky: 936 votes.

The terms are three years and begin July 1.

Library propositions

Supporting the Manlius Library, $1,345,223: 924 yes; 285 no

Supporting the Fayetteville Free Library, $1,859,060:  834 yes; 372 no

New York state education law allows libraries to place a funding proposition on school district ballots and requires school districts, at the libraries’ requests, to levy and collect taxes for libraries.

The libraries are separate legal entities from the school district, with their own funding and budget. The amount of the tax levy collected by a school district for a library remains the same each year until the library requests a proposition to change that amount.

School budget is below its tax cap

The 2019-20 budget is estimated to carry a tax rate increase of 0.24%. The tax levy increase of 2.94% is below the district’s calculated tax levy limit of 3.16%, per the state’s property tax levy cap law. The limit does not cap how much a district can raise through property taxes. Instead, it determines at what level a school district must have a supermajority (60 percent) rather than a simple majority (50% plus one) approve the budget proposal.

Because F-M proposed a budget with a tax levy increase lower than its allowable limit, the budget required a simple majority vote for authorization.

More information about the budget is available at www.fmschools.org/budget-finance.