CLIFTON PARK: Shen board gets back to business

Board President William Casey said that oversight and auditing was important.

"We're the second largest employer in Saratoga County," he said. "I think we have a responsibility to the taxpayers that when we propose a budget, we can say to them that we're doing everything possible to make sure that these funds are spent appropriately."

Over half of the district's budget, almost $70 million, was spent on salaries. Another $28 million was spent on benefits.

The board also approved the 2007-08 tax levy, presented in a memo from Robinson to the board, which was passed by voters in May as part of the upcoming year's budget.

School taxes are set based on a combination of property assessments and state-assigned equalization rates, which aim to keep tax burdens proportional across district towns.

Clifton Park residents will see a 3.37 percent increase in school taxes this year, which is an increase of about $128 for the town's average assessed home. Halfmoon residents will pay 4.8 percent more this year, which is equal to an increase of $175 for the average homeowner.

The largest percent increase in taxes occurred for Ballston. The 9.63 percent increase represents an annual increase of $298 to the average Ballston homeowner in the district.

"While we experience growth, we see that our pace of growth is actually decreasing. But it's still a positive growth; if you see certain school districts, they're seeing negative values," Robinson said. "That additional growth helped offset the impact on the burden of individual taxpayers.""

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