In order to meet the shortfall, the district will increase the tax levy — the total amount the district must raise in property taxes to meet expenses. The original draft of the budget called for a tax levy increase of 1.5 percent, but the plan that the board adopted last week incorporates a 1.75 percent increase.
Schissler explained that the adjusted tax levy would bring $88,126 more to the district. He also noted that the revised increase falls below the state tax cap, thanks to allowable exclusions.
Officials decided not to eliminate any staff positions, a possibility they had discussed during the budget work sessions. In March, Schissler said the district could save money by reducing the number of classes — and therefore, faculty members — in any grade. But, he said last week, it no longer plans to do so.
“As of now we are still looking at class sizes,” he said, “but nothing has been reduced in the budget.”
District officials are also using a combination of savings to close the deficit. Schissler said that $850,641 would be used from a pool of $3.9 million in reserves, in addition to $300,000 in savings. The district will also save money by reserving less for the future: The adopted spending plan calls for a reduction in emergency savings of $500,000.
The North Bellmore district takes in students from North Bellmore and part of North Merrick. Residents of the district will vote on the budget on May 20.