Budget Information and Communications
The most important story to understand this year is how the long term fiscal outlook has changed as a result of taxpayer support, federal money, and increased state aid. Please compare the past 3 years of financial outlook below and see why this should be the last large increase necessary to stabilize the finances of the district:
2020-21 Budget Newsletter (2nd Vote)
2020-21 Budget Newsletter (1st Vote)
2019-20 Budget Newsletter
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. We remain one of the lowest as we solve the revenue deficit.
Capital Refinance Document from 2016 (Debt Service Payments)
Star Website – Sign up / Learn More
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.
How will this affect me?
Here are some examples:
Does this budget exceed the tax cap?
How do we vote this year?
How can I obtain an absentee ballot?
When are absentee ballots due?
How do I find out if I am registered?
How do I register to vote?
How much do we spend compared to others?
What will happen if the budget does not pass?
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.