Mayfield schools eye $21M budget, 2.3% tax levy bump

Mayfield School sign
Article Audio:

MAYFIELD — Voters in the Mayfield Central School District will decide the fate of a 2.3% proposed tax levy increase within the coming weeks. 

The bump — just below the state-formulated levy cap of 2.31% — is packaged within a $21,170,058 budget proposition for the next academic year. For average property owners, this would raise annual taxes by more than $55. 

“I guess I’ll go back to all of us going grocery shopping and buying gas that our community members realize we’ve had this increase due to inflation,” said MCSD Superintendent Christopher Harper. “That’s the bottom line and affects everything, including school district budgets.”

MCSD, the second-smallest budgeted district in Fulton County, seeks a spending plan boost of $533,629. That’s about a 2.59% increase from last year. 

Combined, more than two thirds of expenditures cover benefits ($5,676,519) and instructional costs ($10,085,910). More than $3 million would go to capital projects.

As budgeted, Harper hopes to use some of the money for security systems and gymnasium upgrades, as well as several temporary positions. Using federal dollars earmarked by an ad hoc committee in 2021, MCSD hired personnel ranging in specialization from nursing to special education.

“It really has helped when we look at our results or benchmarks this year, so I’m indebted to the people on that committee for helping us drive that money in the right direction,” Harper said. 

COVID-19 relief (ARPA) funding won’t be a funding option after the forthcoming fiscal cycle as districts are required to spend remaining grant money by 2024.

Foundation aid, fully funded by the state for the first time, is expected to cover $7,992,107 in revenue for MCSD. However, state support is down some $15,000 overall, including $64,910 less in building aid and $114,173 less in transportation aid.

State aid is down “slightly, but you’re absolutely right that foundation aid is the largest part of the whole package,” said Harper.

MCSD expects a 50.08% gain in additional revenue from areas, including local funds, interest and tax receipts. The proposed budget plan would also expects to pad the fund balance and reserves  with $129,860.

Three respective propositions on the ballot this year would authorize the district to tap $399,000 from the reserves for two new buses, a new multi-use tractor and renovations to the existing bus wash station. 

Beyond fiscal items, also up for vote is a five-year term on the Board of Education, which starts on July 1. One-term incumbent Vanessa DiNitto is set to face off against Daniel Sardelli, a licensed optician, and Diane LaVada Blackwood, a senior account clerk at the Fulton County Highway Department.

While school board races often attract a low turnout, last year challenger Kevin Capobianco, a former policymaker, ousted incumbent Cassie Kristel by 61 votes. 


When: May 16 from noon to 8 p.m. 

Where: The gymnasium lobby at Mayfield Junior-Senior High School, 27 School Street

Tyler A. McNeil can be reached at 518-395-3047 or [email protected] Follow him on Facebook at Tyler A. McNeil, Daily Gazette or Twitter @TylerAMcNeil.

CORRECTION: A previous headline mentioned a 2.59% tax levy increase. The budget increase is 2.59%, but the tax levy increase is 2.3%.

By Tyler A. McNeil

Tyler A. McNeil is a nine-year multimedia journalist and southern Saratoga County native. Currently, McNeil covers the southern Adirondacks and northern Mohawk Valley with the Daily Gazette and Leader-Herald. He also specializes in political, investigative and transit-related coverage. The University at Albany graduate's reporting has appeared in a variety of outlets, including Buzzfeed, New Food, Saratoga Today and the Times Union.

Leave a Reply