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Kings Park school budget calls for 2.49% tax hike

The Kings Park school board is proposing an $80.8 million budget for next year that would raise taxes 2.49 percent.

But the hike would not exceed the state tax cap because of allowable exceptions that raise Kings Park’s cap to 2.9 percent, board president William Motherway said Thursday.

A state law implemented last year caps tax levy increases at 2 percent. But there are exceptions for expenses such as debt, pensions and legal settlements.

“When we heard it was 2.9 [percent], we all kind of breathed a sign of relief because I don’t think we had any intention of going near 3 percent this year,” Motherway said.

The proposed budget represents a 2.18 percent increase over the current year’s $79.1 million spending plan.

The district expects to lay off four teachers because of declining enrollment, Motherway said.

The district will eliminate seventh-grade French, mainly due to lack of interest from students, he added.

At least four support staff employees are expected to retire, and the district may lay off two custodians, a mechanic and a maintenance worker, Motherway said.

“It’s a fair budget,” he said. “We were able to keep most of the programs in place.”

A public hearing on the budget will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 8 at Kings Park High School. The statewide date for voting on budgets and electing school board members is May 15.

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