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What’s the Next Step if the School Budget Fails?

We asked administrators what happens if Comsewogue and Port Jefferson School District budgets fail.

Last year, and passed both their budgets by very different margins. In Port Jefferson the budget while Comsewogue overwhelmingly came out in .

This year, there are other variables besides the simple numbers. Comsewogue residents will be voting on another big tax levy increase, one that . In order to pass, it needs a supermajority of 60 percent of the vote.

If it fails, Assistant Superintendent for Business Susan Casali said that by law the next budget vote will be on Jun 19.

Casali said that the Board of Education will decide which budget to present but they have already stated during public meetings that they will present the property tax cap level budget of 2.7 percent with $2.9 million needed to be eliminated from the total budget. The cost to homeowners will be approximately $185 per year as opposed to the 4.5 percent budget, which will cost $299 per year.

If that budget is ultimately defeated and the district is forced to implement a zero percent increase in the tax levy, then it would need to cut $4.4 million from the existing budget. There would be no tax increase to homeowners with that budget.

In Port Jefferson, the Long Island Power Authority tax grievance on the power plant is a major factor in budgeting decisions. Superintendent Kenneth Bossert said that the budget was built to be flexible if the outcome is not favorable and the school district could lose up to 40 percent of its revenue.

If the budget fails the Board of Education will meet to review options, according to Bossert.

“The Board of Education can choose to have a second vote with the same budget or a revised budget,” he said.

The board could forgo a second vote and develop a contingency (0 percent increase) budget.

“No decision of action has been made,” Bossert said.

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