Budget & Finance
Transparent Financial Practices
- Shenendehowa’s annual financial report: 2015, 2016
- The complete line-by-line budget book: 2016-17
- The state-mandated budget notice (Shen publishes in the annual budget newsletter)
- Tax rates for the past several years.
- Each month the board of education approves, in public session, the bills of the district as a part of the Treasurer’s Report, satisfying all requirements for fiscal transparency. These actions are in the minutes that are posted on the website. These actions can be viewed by the public because all board meetings are video taped and posted on the website.
- A comprehensive claims audit report is presented and reviewed at least quarterly by the board of education, ensuring that all funds expensed by the district are done legally, responsibly, and consistent with respective policies. These actions are in the minutes that are posted on the website. These actions can be viewed by the public because all board meetings are video taped and posted on the website.
Annual School Budget Vote
Rules for School Budget Votes
- All school districts in New York State vote on a single statewide voting day– the third Tuesday of May.
- A public hearing must be held 7-14 days before the vote to explain the proposed budget.
- The budget itself must be presented in three categories: program, administrative and capital, however the public votes on one total budget figure.
- School boards cannot submit a budget more than twice to voters. If the first vote is defeated, a school board can opt for a contingency budget or resubmit the defeated budget or a revised budget to the community. After a second defeat, a board must adopt a contingency budget.
- A contingency budget must carry a cap on new spending of 120% of the Consumer Price Index or 4%-whichever is less. In a contingency budget, school boards must still honor employee contracts and follow state mandates. All cuts would come from non-mandated items.
- School budgets in NYS are subject to a tax levy limit (often referred to as the 2% tax cap) that is calculated by each district according to a very complicated formula outlined in the law. Tax levies are the total amount of dollars collected by the district. Tax rates are used to compute an individual tax bill. The law does not cap an individual’s school tax bill. The law also exempts expenditures related to certain items, including some court orders, some pension costs and local capital expenditures. These exemptions could allow for a levy that is higher than 2% but still within the legal limits of the law. In reality, the law does not actually limit the tax levy at all. A district can propose a tax levy above the “limit” but it requires a supermajority (60 percent or more of voters) for approval.
You are entitled to vote in school district elections if you are a U.S. citizen, 18 years or older and have been a district resident for at least 30 days prior to the vote. No pre-registration is required. Personal identification is required.
Applications for absentee ballots for any vote are available at the district office. All applications for an absentee ballot must be received no later than 1 week prior to a vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter. If the ballot is to be picked up personally by the voter, the application can be filed one day prior to the vote. All ballots must be returned to the district clerk by 5 p.m. the day of the vote.