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Indian River recommends below-limit tax levy hike

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PHILADELPHIA — As promised, the Indian River Central School District administration proposed a tax levy increase well below the 18.7 percent it is allowed.

In a final budget presentation Thursday to the Board of Education, Business Manager James R. Koch recommended a 2.79 percent rise in the money to be raised by property taxes.

The final recommended budget is $79.5 million, a 5 percent, or $3.87 million, raise from this year’s $75.5 million.

“It reflects both the growth we are facing and the instruction line,” Superintendent James Kettrick said. “There is a substantial increase in the benefits line of the budget.”

Statewide, employer contributions to the New York State Teachers Retirement System will jump from this year’s 11.84 percent to 16.25 percent of the payroll.

Even so, the staff is expected to grow by 11 teachers across the district.

Most of the positions will likely be at Calcium Primary and Indian River Intermediate schools.

The district plans to purchase 16 buses, increasing the bus fleet to 106, and a wireless security camera system.

“They will be open for discussion,” Mr. Kettrick said.

The new transportation contract with First Student will cost the district $3,950,000.

“This allows for seven additional routes to accommodate for additional housing,” he said. “The fuel line is $1.2 million.”

Additionally, the district is budgeting for $12 million in federal impact aid and projecting $45.5 million in state aid.

At the next meeting, March 21, board members will discuss the parts of the budget they want to keep or eliminate and the tax levy recommendation.

April 4 is the projected date for budget adoption.

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