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Supe: Greenport’s .77% tax levy cap is ‘insufficient’

David Gamberg Greenport audit

Greenport School District officials preparing next year’s school spending plans are describing the process as daunting because they’re bound to .77 percent tax levy growth for 2016-17.

During a budget workshop Tuesday, Superintendent David Gamberg said the district is allowed to raise the tax levy by about $98,320 — an amount he described as “insufficient” — with a simple majority from voters in May.

The district would need 60 percent voter approval to exceed that amount.

“Wherever we land in the ultimate proposal,” the superintendent explained, “if there are any cuts to be made, I want to assure people that we are working as hard as we can to do it all in a responsible fashion.”

Mr. Gamberg said the district is owed more than $905,300 in state aid through the Gap Elimination Adjustment, or GEA, which was first applied in 2009-10 to help reduce New York’s $10 billion deficit. That formula has worked by reducing the amount of aid school districts are entitled to each year.

In May 2013, Greenport became the only local school district to have proposed piercing the tax levy cap since the state mandated the restriction. Residents ultimately approved that budget with a supermajority vote.

The school board has scheduled another budget workshop at 5 p.m. Tuesday before its regular 7 p.m. meeting.

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Photo: Greenport School District Superintendent David Gamberg. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

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