2021-22 Budget Information

Budget information from last year

Budget Information and Communications

Live stream of presentation and adoption of budget

Presentation given to the Board of Education

2021-22 Budget Newsletter

Why do we need to replace busses?

5-Year Long Range Fiscal Plan (Conservative Estimate)

2020-21 Long Range Plan (Based on 2020 Information)

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Prior Year Newsletters for Comparison

2020-21 Budget Newsletter (2nd Vote)

2020-21 Budget Newsletter (1st Vote)

2019-20 Budget Newsletter
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Fund Balance Analysis:
(We are working to solve the revenue deficit and stabilize the fund balance.)

Overview of Taxes – Video explaining how school taxes work

Notice on the full value tax rate below how we have gone from one of the highest rates to the lowest rate in the region over time.

Special Education & Health Insurance cost per student – Chart

Special Education Spending Comparison – Chart

Health Insurance Spending Comparison – Chart

Resources

2020-21 Budget Summary

2021-22 Budget Notice

Three Part Budget

Tax Roll Exemptions

Administrative Compensation Report

Property Tax Report Card

ESSA Financial Transparency Report

NYS School Report Card

Assessment Rolls

2020-21 School Tax Bills

Office of State Comptroller Statewide School Tax Rates

Capital Refinance Document from 2016 (Debt Service Payments)

STAR exemption/rebate:

Star Website – Sign up / Learn More

STAR Exemption Amounts

Article about changes to STAR

Will taxpayers lose the STAR rebate because the school exceeds the tax cap?

No, the STAR exemption or STAR credit (a newer methodology for new homeowners) is still in effect for individual taxpayers whether a district remains within the tax cap or not.

The property tax relief credit, which resulted in taxpayers receiving a check in or around the fall required a resident’s school district to be tax cap compliant.  However, that program, which began in 2016, was fully phased in 2019, and as a result, will not be available for 2020.  There is no rebate opportunity to lose this year.

Questions

How will this affect me?
We have developed a Tax Calculator so that each individual taxpayer can understand the increase.

Here are some examples:

Does this budget exceed the tax cap?
No.  The capital exclusions in the tax cap calculation this year have resulted in a larger percentage (17.6%).  Fortunately, this proposed budget is well below that number at 8.8%.

How do we vote this year?
A Special District Meeting of the qualified voters of the Rensselaer City School District will be held at the Rensselaer City School District campus on Tuesday, May 18, 2021 between the hours of 12 noon & 9 p.m., prevailing time, at which time the polls will be opened to vote by voting machine.

What will the ballot look like? 
Please see a copy of the 2021-22 Ballot.

How can I obtain an absentee ballot?
Applications for absentee ballots will be obtainable between 9:00 a.m. & 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays, from the Office of the Rensselaer County Board of Elections.

When are absentee ballots due?
The Rensselaer County Board of Elections must receive completed applications at least seven (7) days before the annual vote. Absentee ballots must be received by the Rensselaer County Board of Elections not later than 5:00 p.m., prevailing time, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. Due to the prevalence and community spread of COVID-19, the potential for contraction of the COVID-19 virus shall be deemed a temporary illness for the purpose of eligibility to vote as an absentee voter in a school budget vote held May 18, 2021.

How do I find out if I am registered?
Call the Board of Elections at 518-270-2990.

How do I register to vote?
Call the Board of Elections at 518-270-2990.

How much do we spend compared to others?
According to the NYS Fiscal Accountability Summary, our per-student spending is below both the high needs school average and the state average for spending.

What might it look like if there was not a -11.1% tax levy years ago?

What will happen if the budget does not pass?
With our larger class sizes and low spending per student, there is little left to reduce. The district will be forced to eliminate sports and extracurricular activities. The rest of the difference will need to come from our depleted fund balance, worsening the fiscal crisis.

What is RCSD Corporation?

The RCSD Corporation was established on June 1, 2006 for the purpose of assisting in the building of the the new school and to “promote the public good and lessen the burdens in the city and the county.” The corporation has its own board of directors, separate from the school board members. In carrying out is main purpose, the corporation owns the school building and grounds and leases both to the school district for a period of 30 years (beginning in 2006). Under the lease purchase agreement, Certificates of Participation (COPs) were issued in a trust and disbursing agreement, naming both the corporation and the school. The corporation, in association with the school, refinanced the COPs in 2016, at which time they were called. This allowed us to refinance the debt and experience a savings while maintaining the terms of the original agreement. These savings were immediately passed along to the taxpayers in the 2017 tax year.  The most recent summary of the fiscal information can be found on page 37 of the 2020 RCSD independent financial audit.

Why does the Board of Elections handle Rensselaer City School District’s vote and not other schools?

The canvassing of the ballots for Rensselaer’s annual election and budget vote is conducted pursuant to Election Law and not Education Law.

With the exception of Rensselaer, every Small City School District in the State has its elections governed by Article 53 of the Education Law Section 2601-a

Rensselaer’s elections are specifically included in Section 2502 of the Education Law.