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Hammond Central School seeks 4.3 percent tax levy increase

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HAMMOND — Hammond Central School District officials will present voters with a 2013-14 budget that calls for a 4.3 percent tax levy increase.

The proposed budget is $6,844,430, an increase of $235,123 over the 2012-13 budget. The tax levy would be $3,191,010, an increase of $132,087.

The tax rate would increase 55 to 99 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, bringing rates to $13.41 in Morristown, Hammond and Rossie, $14.27 in the town of Alexandria and $23.95 in Macomb.

Superintendent Douglas H. McQueer said the budget represents a “natural” increase in expenditures.

“Most of the increases in expenditures are the result of employee retirement and health care,” he said. “Health care went up to over 9 percent this year. Personnel costs run about two-thirds of the budget.”

The budget calls for using $313,500 in appropriated fund balance to buy down the tax levy, leaving $155,000 to $180,000 in unallocated funds, Mr. McQueer said.

The district is to receive $3,290,012 in state aid. “Ideally we would have liked to receive $315,000 (more) in aid to break even,” Mr. McQueer said. “But we were surprised to receive a $95,000 increase over last year’s $2.9 million.”

The district will hold an informational meeting on its budget at 7 p.m. May 14 at the school. The budget vote is May 21. School board member Bernard Martin is running unopposed for a five-year term.

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