F-M voters approve $88.3 million budget; elect three board members

Fayetteville-Manlius School District voters approved the district’s $88.3 million 2020-21 budget proposal, elected three board of education members, approved retaining a non-voting student board member and approved the purchase of five new buses.

District-related Propositions

  • An $88,298,298 budget for the 2020-21 school year that increases spending 2.82% ($2,423,616) and carries a 2.94% tax levy increase and an estimated tax rate increase of 0.50%: 3,743 yes; 1,585 no
  • Purchasing five new school buses at a total cost not to exceed $681,556: 3,479 yes; 1,813 no
  • Retaining a non-voting student board member: 4,590 yes; 687 no

Board of Education Election

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

  • Jason Catalino: 3,024 votes;
  • Rebecca Cohen: 3,617 votes;
  • Kelly Fumarola: 3,748 votes; and
  • Christopher McKee: 2,303

The terms are three years, beginning July 1, and will be filled by the candidates with the three highest vote totals: Jason Catalino, Rebecca Cohen and Kelly Fumarola.

Library Propositions

  • Supporting the Manlius Library, $1,358,675: 3,742 yes; 1,509 no
  • Supporting the Fayetteville Free Library, $1,894,382: 3,542 yes; 1,750 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 2020-21 budget is estimated to carry a tax rate increase of 0.50%. The tax levy increase of 3.33% is at the district’s calculated tax levy limit, 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 on the Budget and Finance page.