VOORHEESVILLE Despite being able to adopt a budget up to the property tax cap of a 3.9 percent increase, Voorheesville Central School District Board of Education members directed administrators to hold the line at 3.2 percent.
Board President Timothy E. Blow expressed staunch opposition to proposing a property tax levy increase at the district’s tax cap limit at the board’s Monday, March 25, meeting. Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder wasn’t shy in expressing her support for a 3.5 percent tax levy increase, but board members settled on the lower figure.
“No matter what, the tax cap is going to keep increasing because the benefits are out of control,” Blow said, referring to tax cap exemptions.
Board member Diana Straut was concerned that cuts made over the last several years have left little room for reduction that won’t affect programming.
“We are not expanding anything … we are not able to build programs,” Straut said. “There is not much more room to cut, I’m afraid.”
Blow expressed a different perspective and said not making any reductions wouldn’t allow for newer programming to be introduced.
“My fear is that if we keep going too high and not cutting anything, then we never have the ability to add anything,” Blow said. “I think we need to the find areas that we can cut or reduce that don’t significantly or at all impact programs, so that we have the ability to add things in the future when they become appropriate.”
Snyder said there are not many cuts left that don’t affect programming.
“We are now reaching the point where these are getting to the areas that is of value (to the community),” Snyder said. “We have cut so much over the past three years that we really are reaching the bones.”
Straut, along with fellow board members, pushed to increase the proposed tax hike from 3 percent, which Blow had suggested.