Budget Information

May 21, 2024 voting results: Catskill Central School District 2024-25 Budget PASSED 580 yes – 230 no.

2024-25 Budget

On Tuesday, May 21, 2024, Catskill Central School District residents approved a $49,430,997 budget for the 2024-25 school year. The budget carries no tax levy increase (0 percent), which is under the allowable 2.65 percent tax levy increase set by the NYS property tax cap. Spending is down a total of $457,637, a 0.917 percent decrease from the 2023-24 budget. The District sought efficiency measures, applied state and federal grant money, and applied $3,438,121 in fund balance to reduce year-to-year cost increases and hold the tax levy increase to 0 percent.

“Despite high inflation and the state reducing our state aid this year, this fiscally responsible spending plan puts us on a firm financial footing for not just next school year, but the following year as well,” said Dr. Dan Wilson, superintendent of schools. “And the fact that we are able to offer our community a school budget that maintains our school’s high level of programming with zero tax increase is just awesome, a real win-win situation.” 

The budget includes no layoffs and no cuts to student programs. School officials focused on closing a significant budget gap (caused by inflation and the reduction in state aid) while preserving programs and ensuring that students would have the appropriate level of staffing in each building based on need and enrollment. The District restructured its administrative team by combining two special education administrative positions into one, eliminating two secondary assistant principal positions, and creating a district-wide director of physical education, health and athletics position for a net decrease of two administrative positions, all while keeping three administrators present on each school campus. Efficiency measures also include the elimination of three elementary teacher positions, one special education teacher position, one secondary science teacher position, one secondary Math intervention teacher position, one secondary English intervention teacher position, four teaching assistant positions, one maintenance mechanic position, one cleaner position, and one teacher aide position from the budget. These position reductions are the result of lower student enrollment and do not cut student programs or services. They were achieved without layoffs by not filling positions made vacant by retirements or resignations.

Voters also elected elected Mike Konsul, Karen Van Wie, Jeffrey Holliday, and Michael Dedrick to the Board of Education and approved a proposition for a wholly separate appropriation to support the annual Catskill Public Library budget.

Budget Documents

Budget Presentations


11/1/23 Budget Calendar presented for Board of Education approval
12/6/23 BOE Meeting – Long Range Plan Presentation
11/1/23 – 1/24 Superintendent of Schools – Review of all detailed budget requests with all supervisors. Development preliminary budget.
1/24/24 BOE Meeting – Budget Workshop –  Presentation of Tap Cap History
2/7/24 BOE Meeting – Regular Meeting
2/28/24 BOE Meeting –Budget Workshop: State Aid & Revenue Presentation; Review first draft of 2024 – 2025 budget expenditures; Financial Literacy presentation
3/1/24 Submit 2024-2025 calculation for tax levy limit to NYS Office of State Comptroller
3/13/24 BOE Meeting – Regular Meeting – Follow up to budget workshop
3/27/24 Budget Workshop
4/9/24 BOE Meeting – Regular Meeting – (Tuesday)
4/22/24 Last date for submitting petitions requesting that a proposition be placed on the ballot
Last date for filing petitions for School Board membership
4/23/24 BOE Meeting – Regular Meeting – review budget & adopt budget (Tuesday)
4/26/24 Last day for BOE to adopt budget and Property Tax Report Card
4/29/24 Final date for submission of Property Tax Report Card to SED
5/1/24 Budget statement and required attachments available at each building
5/8/24 BOE Meeting – Budget Hearing
5/9/24 – 5/15/24 Budget Notice mailed to voters
5/21/24 ANNUAL BUDGET VOTE & BOARD ELECTION 1:00–9:00 p.m. CHS gym

Property Tax Cap Information

Contrary to popular belief, the NYS Property Tax Cap does not cap tax increases at 2 percent. Instead, public schools must use a state formula each year to determine the amount they can increase their tax levies by without having to seek a higher percentage of voter approval for the budget. This threshold is usually different each year and may be above or below 2%. The district must determine its tax cap number and submit it to the state by March 1st of each year.

For 2024, Catskill CSD’s allowable tax levy increase is 2.65%.

If the year-to-year increase of the District’s tax levy (portion of the school budget funded by property tax) is at or below the number determined by the formula (the “cap”), a simple majority (50% + 1) of voter approval is needed to pass the budget. If the District puts before voters a budget that carries a tax levy increase above the number determined by the formula, a super majority (60%) of voter approval is needed for the budget to pass.

What is a Tax Levy?

The tax levy is the dollar amount that is raised by annual property tax to fund the budget. It provides a portion of the total funding for the budget; the other major source of funding comes from state aid.

What is Fund Balance?

Fund balance is a reserve similar to a savings account; when District expenses are less than expected, or revenues are higher than projected, money remaining at the end of the year is held in the fund balance. The District utilizes fund balance each year as revenue in the budget to minimize spending cuts and hold down tax increases.

What Happens if Voters do not Approve the Budget?

If voters do not approve the budget proposal on May 21, the Board of Education has the following options: put the same budget or a revised budget up for vote on June 18, 2024, or adopt a contingency budget. If the budget proposition is again defeated on June 18, the Board must adopt a contingency budget.

A contingency budget holds the tax levy increase at 0%, regardless of inflation, contractual obligations, and other cost increases incurred by the District. However, all state mandated programs, including those not funded by state aid, would need to be retained. A contingency budget also prevents spending on new equipment, except when concerning safety, and limits public use of District facilities. These regulations mean that the Board would need to cut an additional $234,772 from the current budget proposal. Cuts could potentially include program reductions in instructional and non-instructional areas, reductions in extracurricular programs and interscholastic sports programs, the elimination of all equipment purchases that are unrelated to safety, and reductions in BOCES services.

Voter Qualifications

To be eligible to vote you must be:
• A citizen of the United States 18 years of age or older
• A resident of the Catskill Central School District for a period of 30 days or more directly preceding the date of the vote
• Registered to vote with either the School District or the Greene County Board of Elections

Voter Registration

You must be registered with either the County Board of Elections or the Catskill Central School District to vote on the School Budget and Board of Education Election. The voters of the District have approved a system of walk-in voter registration, available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on days when the District Offices at the District Clerk’s Office, 343 West Main Street, Catskill, NY.

Early Voting & Absentee Ballots

Applications for early voting by mail or absentee ballots may be applied for at the Office of the Board Clerk, 343 West Main Street, Catskill, New York. Applications for early voting/absentee ballots must be received by the Board Clerk at least seven (7) days prior to the election and vote if the ballot is to be mailed to the voter, or the day before the election if the ballot will be picked up personally by the voter at the Office of the Board Clerk.

Current Year’s Budget

The 2023-24 school year budget totales $49,888,670 and carried a tax levy increase of 2%, which was under the District’s 2023 NYS tax cap of 3.52%. The budget was up a total of $1,312,669, a 2.7% increase from the 2022-23 budget, largely due to inflation and contractual obligations. The District sought efficiency measures and applied $3,576,422 in fund balance to reduce the impact of year-to-year cost increases on the tax levy. School officials focused on keeping the tax levy increase at 2% while ensuring that students would have the appropriate level of faculty and staff in each building based on need and student enrollment. More 2023-24 Budget Information…

Board of Education Election

2024 Board of Education election information

Catskill Public Library Budget

For information about the Catskill Public Library, please visit catskillpubliclibrary.org