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Riverhead proposes $109M school budget

Riverhead school officials are proposing a $109,594,658 budget for 2011-2012 that, while only 1.26 percent higher than the current spending plan, calls for nearly 5 percent more to be raised in local taxes.

The factor that determines the local tax rate is how much of the total must be raised in the district, an amount due to increase by 4.93 percent, from the current $82,717,368 to $86,794,515.

The district expects to use $3,440,000 from its reserve fund, about the same amount used in the current year to cover a shortfall in anticipated state aid.

No tax rates have been projected because state officials have not yet set the equalization rate, a formula that determines how much of the cost will be paid by taxpayers in the three towns in the school district. Most of the district is in Riverhead town, and parts are in Southampton and Brookhaven. Am equalization rate is necessary because each town sets its own property values for tax purposes.

School officials will hold a formal hearing on the budget May 10, a week before the May 17 budget vote.

Monday is the deadline for candidates to file petitions to run for three open school board seats that will also be on the ballot.

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