2023-24 Budget FAQs
1) Are there any cuts to programs or personnel?
No, there are no reductions to any programs in the proposed budget. It is the goal of the administration and the Board of Education to present a budget that advances the academic and social-emotional growth of our students.
2) What are the main drivers of this year’s proposed budget?
The total budget increase for 2023-24 is $2.3 million, which is a 4.19% increase over the current year. This is a net growth amount, meaning some areas of the budget decreased based upon student needs as others grew. There is also savings based on retirements and changes in personnel.
Two areas account for the majority of the growth:
- Bond Payment – Approximately 26% of the increase in the proposed budget is attributed to principal and interest payments of the $18.3 million bond, which was passed by voters in 2018 to fund capital improvements at all three schools. This accounts for $611,000 of the total budget-to- budget increase.
- Staffing increases and mandatory contractual and benefit increases account for approximately $860,000 dollars, or 30% of the budget-to-budget increase.
3) What is the proposed budget tax levy increase?
The tax levy will increase by approximately 2.83% over last year’s levy. However, the increase to individual homeowners may be different based on the change in the assessed valuation of the village is increasing. The 2.83% tax levy increase represents the direct impact on the Hastings taxpayer, and is lower than the 4.19% budget-to-budget increase due to the the overall increase in revenues, such as State Aid
4) Is the District using reserves to lessen the overall tax levy impact?
The District has reserves that are created and funded for specific liability purposes. Over the years, the District has been able to reserve monies to help offset rises in items, such as retirement expenses, to help mitigate the tax impact on residents. The District recognizes the current financial pressures of our taxpayers, and this year, is proposing drawing on reserves to help offset some of the increases
5) Is the Proposed Budget within the NY State Tax Levy Cap?
Yes, the District has an allowable increase to the tax levy under New York State law of close to $2 million; the proposed budget levy is almost $530,000 under the allowable limit.
7) Are budget increases a regional trend?
Yes, significant budget increases are a regional trend. Increased costs affect all districts and largely reflect rising costs driven by inflation, New York State policy mandates, shifting state pension obligations, and other non- local and non-discretionary drivers.
8) What happens if the budget fails to pass?
If the budget does not pass, the board may present the budget again for a re- vote, either as is, or with reductions to programs, personnel, and/or services. Should the budget fail again in a second vote, the district automatically adopts a contingency budget, which would mandate reductions of approximately $1 million dollars.
Budgets that are defeated on a re-vote do not allow any increase to the tax levy from the previous year.