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School budget passes in North Colonie

Voters showed their support for the North Colonie Central School District's $90,096,000 budget for the 2009-2010 school year Tuesday, May 21, by approving the numbers 1,455-to-796.

The budget approved by voters represents a 1.9 percent budget-to-budget spending increase and a tax levy increase of about 4 percent, up from last year's $61.1 million tax levy.

While the estimated tax rate figure is not yet known (district officials said it is hard to estimate the tax rate, thought the district will have the exact figure in August), the district's Assistant Superintendent for Business Tom Rybaltowski projects the rate will be between 2 and 2.9 percent.

This year, the district moved to a single tax rate system in which both homeowners and commercial business owners pay the same tax rate. District officials are hoping that this will eliminate the inequality that can occur when businesses win tax certiorari lawsuits and the tax burden is shifted to homeowners unexpectedly.

While it would be difficult to return to the two-tier tax rate system the district was operating under before, the shift back would be made easier once the Town of Colonie completes a townwide assessment something town officials have said is not financially feasible in the immediate future.

For now, district officials are confident that the single tax rate will benefit district residents.

Sixty-one-year-old Anita Macdonald said she voted in favor of the budget.

I felt like [North Colonie] had done a very good job and that the budget was under control," Johnson said.

Along with approving the budget, voters also re-elected Board of Education incumbents Mary-Ellen Raup and Mary Nardolillo.

Nardolillo has been elected to her second five-year term and currently serves as vice president, which she has served as for the past two years. Loudonville resident Nardolillo, 50, also co-chairs the Employee Relations Committee with board member Linda Harrison.

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