PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. — Putnam Daily Voice accepts signed and original letters to the editor up to 350 words. To submit your letter, email firstname.lastname@example.org
I attended the Putnam Valley Central School District Audit Committee meeting a few weeks ago when Jill Figarella, treasurer, and not an Audit Committee member made a recommendation of taking the $870,000 surplus from the 2015-2016 budget and give back to the taxpayers $370,000.
The balance, $500,000, be placed into the newly formed capital reserve fund. The committee discussed a number of different options; I recommended that a larger portion, all if not most of the $870,000, be used to reduce the tax levy. The final consensus was that it be split $435,000 to reduce the tax levy and $435,000 be placed in the newly formed Capital Reserve fund. This recommendation was never presented to the School Board instead Jill's original recommendation was presented and approved.
This decision was in light of the State's Comptroller report that the schools reserve funds were over funded and each year the school has been using the surplus funds rather than use the appropriate reserve fund in which they were intended for. In my opinion the newly formed capital reserve fund was created for the direct intention of funneling surplus funds rather than giving it back to the taxpayers of Putnam Valley as a refund of over payment.
Although the Commissioner of NYSED still has not ruled on my appeal to have the Dec. 8, 2015 vote of creating this Capital Reserve Fund over turned and re-voted at a more appropriate time (May with the school budget or November at the general election)
I am still hopeful a decision will be made in favor of my appeal. For this year we will see a total of $470,000 school tax reduction, $100,000 approved in the budget and $370,000 from the $870,000 surplus. That coupled with the $181,000 reduction last year, our school tax burden is slowly be reduced, maybe in our lifetime we will see a less than a $47,000,000 budget for the less than 1,700 children. I also hope to see our college readiness numbers improve dramatically from 58% since we are paying close to $29,000 per child per year.