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September 18, 2013 - 4:40pm

School tax rate decreases, other highlights from Batavia City School District Board of Education Meeting

posted by Kathie Scott in Board of Education, School Taxes, City Schools.

Highlights from the Batavia City School District (BCSD) Board of Education meeting on Sept. 17 include the following:

  • Tax rate adjusted ~ Decreases to lowest level in 10-plus years           
  • Reminder: Re-register for Basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31
  • District goals outlined
  • BOE president’s report
  • Superintendent elected to Board
  • Auditors review financial statements
  • BHS Homecoming in full swing

Tax rate adjusted ~ decreases to lowest level in 10-plus years

As a result of savings realized from the consolidation of schools, as well as some reevaluation and reassessment of properties, homeowners will see a 3.95--percent reduction in the school tax rate, or a $0.91 decrease per $1000 of assessed property value (to $22.14 per $1,000 of assessed property value). This is the lowest tax rate for the District in more than 10 years.

Reminder: Re-register for Basic STAR exemption by Dec. 31

Bill Smist of the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) explained the new legislation that requires all homeowners who receive the Basic STAR exemption to register with the Tax Department by Dec. 31 in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and beyond. The legislation is an attempt to eliminate any inappropriate exemptions.

The requirement to re-register does not affect those seniors who receive the Enhanced STAR exemption. The process for Enhanced STAR has not changed.

Homeowners currently enrolled in Basic STAR have likely received notification of the requirement. That letter of notification included instructions and information to complete the process, but residents are able to register even without the letter. Smist emphasized that registration is both easy and quick. It can be done online at www.tax.ny.gov by clicking on the tab, “Register for STAR.” It can also be done via phone: 518-457-2036, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

To register, residents will need their STAR code (included in the notification letter or available through the “STAR code lookup” link on the DTF Web site or through their phone assistance) and the names and Social Security numbers of all owners of the property and their spouses. Registrants will also be asked to confirm that the property is the primary residence of one of its owners (married couples with multiple residences may only claim one STAR exemption), that the combined income of the owners and spouses who reside at the property does not exceed $500,000 annually, and that no resident owner received a residency-based tax benefit from another state.

More information is available on the Web site or by calling the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance: www.tax.ny.gov or 518-457-2036.

District goals

For the complete presentation by Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey, please click on this link (or copy into your browser): http://www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=1120&school=0 .

Included here is a brief overview:

In introducing the District Goals for 2013-2014, Superintendent of Schools Christopher Dailey noted the District’s commitment, as articulated in the Mission and Vision statements, to empowering students to achieve their maximum potential and developing students who are able to successfully meet life’s challenges. He also emphasized the priority for continually improving the number of graduates who are college and career ready.

The four goals include: (1) close learning gaps UPK-12; (2) implement the second year of District Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans; (3) be fiscally sound; and (4) improve communication.

Steps to close learning gaps include such measures as implementing improvement plans aligned with the new Common Core Learning Standards; monitoring, reviewing, and adjusting strategies and programs; and providing and developing the resources and professional development needed for academic growth. The continuation of implementing APPR plans calls for utilizing the process as fully as possible for improving instruction, with the goal of having all teachers and principals rated as Effective/Highly Effective by Sept. 1, 2014.

In its aim to continue fiscal responsibility, the District will work toward creating a budget for 2014-2015 that is at or below the allowable tax cap while maintaining programs, managing the Capital Improvement Project, seeking revenue sources as well as more shared services, and advocating for our district at the local, regional and state level.

Communication goals include improving and increasing use of the Web site, Facebook, automated calling system, building and District newsletters, and local media; increasing meetings with community groups; adding Twitter accounts for each school building and video streaming the Board of Education meetings.

In addition, Superintendent Dailey touched on the Three-Year Vision which expands on the listed goals for improved academics and finances.

In closing, he noted that he believes the Batavia City School District will continue to lead, not follow, our region in success and achievements.

BOE president’s report

BOE President Patrick Burk outlined a number of goals to be considered for adoption by the Board. He and the superintendent will work together to bring a set of proposals to the Board for review, and he requested that all Board members forward any ideas they have to him.

Burk also noted that there has been high turnover of Board of Education members throughout the Genesee Valley region. The number of new board members in Western New York may be a challenge as Board members, administrators, and other concerned community residents continue to advocate, as a region, for such things as adequate funding for our students’ education.

In its continued efforts for championing local concerns, the Genesee Valley School Board Association is hosting a dinner meeting on Sept. 26 to bring together advocates of rural school districts. For more information about the dinner, contact Jim Thompson at 344-7947 or [email protected].

Superintendent elected to Board

Superintendent Dailey has been elected to the New York State Association of Small City School Districts, which will provide another platform which can be utilized to advocate for our district.

Auditors review financial statements

Audit Committee Chair Phil Ricci reported that the committee met with the auditors to review financial statements from the last fiscal year. Noting that the auditors had few and minor comments, he commended Business Administrator Scott Rozanski and District Treasurer Sally Sanford, particularly in the progress regarding Medicaid and Student Activities reports, where neither had any problematic findings.

BHS Homecoming in full swing

Student Ex-officio Board Member Samir Jain updated the Board members on high school events, including activities for Homecoming Week, Sept. 16-21. (See listing on the District Web site: www.bataviacsd.org/news.cfm?story=1113&school=1).

Superintendent Dailey noted that tickets are still available through the Athletics Office for the annual Athletic Hall of Fame dinner to be held at Terry Hills on Saturday, Sept. 21.

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