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Eastchester, Tuckahoe School Budget Vote Tuesday

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. — Residents of Eastchester and Tuckahoe will get a chance Tuesday to turn thumbs up or down on their respective 2012-2013 school budgets.

In Eastchester, the budget proposal calls for $73,284,473 in spending, an increase of $1,527,170 over the current budget.

In Tuckahoe, the proposed budget is $29,903,681, up $1,006,168 over the current year.

The budgets are the first put together since the state enacted its 2 percent tax levy cap in a bid to slow rising property taxes. The tax levy differs from the tax rate. The levy represents how much money the district can raise in local taxes. The cap law starts at 2 percent and can go up or down.

The law makes allowances for some expenses, such as certain capital expenditures, increases in the state-mandated employer contribution rates for teacher and employee pension systems that exceed 2 percentage points, and court orders/judgments resulting from tort actions of any amount that exceed 5 percent of a district’s current levy.

Eastchester’s maximum allowable levy increase was 1.98 percent; Tuckahoe’s was 2.26 percent.

Boards of Education in both Eastchester and Tuckahoe presented budget proposals that are under the cap and will require a simple majority to pass. Budgets over the cap require 60 percent voter approval.

Should a budget fail to pass, the board can resubmit it for another vote or make adjustments and submit a new budget. If the second vote fails, the budget automatically reverts to the 2011-2012 figure with no increase to accommodate mandated pension and salary increases, or increases in energy or insurance costs.

Also on Tuesday’s ballot will be school board candidates. In Tuckahoe, Michael Collins, appointed in October to fill an unexpired term, is running unopposed. In Eastchester, incumbents David Carforo, John J. Curcio and Michelle Kissel are all running unopposed.

Eastchester residents will vote from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Eastchester Middle School (enter from Lincoln Avenue) and Garth Road Community Center, 235 Garth Road (Garth Road residents only).

Tuckahoe residents will vote from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Tuckahoe Community Center, 71 Columbus Ave., Tuckahoe; William E. Cottle Auditorium Foyer, 2 Siwanoy Blvd., Eastchester; and Chester Heights Firehouse, 10 Oregon Ave., Bronxville.

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