West Hempstead school district residents approved the proposed 2012-2013 school budget Tuesday, and elected James Mariano, Carole Rilling and Karen Brohm to the Board of Education.
There were 1,027 votes in favor and 650 against the $55,188,693 proposed budget, which is 1.46 percent higher than the 2011-2012 budget. The budget raises the tax levy - the portion of revenue that taxpayers are responsible for - by 2.58 percent. This figure is actually under the tax cap created by New York State law and therefore, only required a majority of voters for it to pass.
Trustees Mariano and Rilling were re-elected to their seventh three-year terms on the school board. Mariano defeated Signorile, 990 votes to 519 votes. Rilling beat Fogg, 911 votes to 655 votes.
Brohm won the election for former Trustee Anthony Brita's seat and effectively takes over for Brita's temporary replacement, Vincent Trocchia, who was appointed to serve until the election. She garnered 1,110 votes, compared to Walsh's 468, and will serve out the one year that remains of Brita's term.
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The budget that residents approved maintains all the district's existing programs, services, staff and extracurriculars. It also appropriates money for the implementation of a wireless Internet network (to be financed over the next three years), needed blacktop repairs at l and a partial roof replacement at West Hempstead High School.
To offset some of the rising costs, including unfunded mandates, pension and health care increases, and contractual obligations, the district cut roughly $1 million from its transportation budget and tapped into its reserves.
The budget will impact each resident differently based on each person's assessed home value and tax exemptions. West Hempstead School District officals say that, based on the tentative information supplied by the Nassau County Assessor’s Office, taxes on the average West Hempstead home would increase 1.3 percent.
Others could see their tax bills go up by more or less, or some may even see them decrease. However, school officials say, determining these figures at this time is not possible because the tax roll is not yet finalized and Nassau County will not determine the base proportions until the summer.
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