Greater Amsterdam School District residents will vote today on the proposed budget, two board seats, and a measure to fund the Amsterdam public library with an additional property tax.
Under the proposed budget, taxpayers in the City of Amsterdam would experience a tax rate of $27.33 per $1,000 of taxable assessed property value, a decrease of 17 cents from the current year’s rate. Taxpayers in the Town of Amsterdam would see a rate of $206.20 per $1,000 of taxable assessed property value, a decrease of $5.89 from the current year.
All other municipalities in the GASD would see a rate decrease except the Town of Florida, which would increase by 4 cents from the current year to a rate of $40.83.
The budget requires a $20.88 million tax levy, a 0.82 percent decrease from the current school year, while enhancing or maintaining programs at their current level and with no cuts to staff.
The $68.79 million proposed budget is an increase of $3.69 million over the current year’s budget. The overall increase is due to an increase in state aid, the differential from the retirement of 16 veteran staff members, and the allocation of $536,069 from the district’s unrestricted reserve fund balance.
School business manager Kim Brumley said that the expenditure from the reserve funds was part of a “planned spend down” by the district to gradually reduce the fund balance to the state’s recommended level of 4 percent of the district’s total budget. The allocations under the proposed budget would reduce the fund balance to $5.81 million, 8.45 percent of the total budget.
Voters will also elect two candidates to the board of education today in an uncontested race for two open positions being sought by incumbent John Bottisti and newcomer Curtis Peninger. Incumbent Robert Vennett is not seeking reelection.
The ballot will also feature a proposition to support the Amsterdam Free Library and the Fort Hunter Free Library through an annual $210,000 property tax levy. From the combined proposition, $200,000 would go to the Amsterdam library while $10,000 would go to the Fort Hunter library. The cost to GASD residents to fund the libraries would be 21 cents per $1,000 of true assessed property value. The funding would eliminate the need for the the City of Amsterdam to provide the Amsterdam library with $60,000 a year and the Town of Amsterdam to provide $15,000. Read more about the issue here.
Polls will be open from 12pm to 9pm today at the following locations:
Election District #1
Amsterdam High School, 140 Saratoga Ave., Amsterdam
City of Amsterdam Ward 1 – District 4
City of Amsterdam Ward 2 – District 3
Town of Amsterdam, District 1, 2 & 4
Town of Perth
Election District #2
Lynch Literacy Academy, 55 Brandt Place, Amsterdam
City of Amsterdam Ward 1 – Districts 1, 2 & 3
City of Amsterdam Ward 2 – Districts 1 & 2
City of Amsterdam Ward 3 – Districts 1, 2 & 3
City of Amsterdam Ward 5 – District 3
Election District #3
Marie Curie Institute, 9 Brice St., Amsterdam
City of Amsterdam Ward 2 – District 4
City of Amsterdam Ward 4 – Districts 1 & 2
City of Amsterdam Ward 5 – District 1
Town of Amsterdam, District 3
Town of Glenville
Election District #4
Barkley MicroSociety, 66 DeStefano St., Amsterdam
City of Amsterdam Ward 5 – Districts 2 & 4
Town of Florida – Districts 1, 2 & 3
Town of Duanesburg