Lakeland School Taxes to Drop in Cortlandt in New Budget

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Cortlandt residents in the Lakeland School District will enjoy a tax decrease next year under the 2014-15 budget adopted by the Board of Education last week.

If the $161.17 million budget is approved by voters on May 20, school taxes in Cortlandt, which make up 60% of a property owner’s total tax bill, will drop 1.7%. Meanwhile, residents in Yorktown in the district are slated to see a 2.5% increase. Tax rates in the other four municipalities in Yorktown have yet to be calculated.

“This is really a fair flop because Yorktown was much lower than Cortlandt last year,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Stone. “We are very proud of what we accomplished with preparing the budget and what it represents.”

The budget increases spending by $809,000, or .5%, from this year. The tax levy increase is also .5%, well below the allowable state hike of 2%. To balance the budget, $6.2 million was designated from the general fund balance.

“It’s been a lot of careful planning over the years that has brought us to this point,” said board President Elizabeth Kogler. “I think this is a strong budget.”

Board Vice President Glen Malia said spending increase in the budget is the lowest in his nine years on the board.

“I don’t think we can do any better than this,” he said. “This year, more than any other year, you came to us with what we wanted.”

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 6. The districtwide budget vote will take place May 20 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School.

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