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Oct 22, 2014 10:24 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton School District Starting Merger Information Meetings

Oct 22, 2014 10:24 AM

The Southampton School Board is kicking off a series of public information meetings about the proposed annexation of the Tuckahoe School District, roughly one month before straw votes in the community will decide if the proposition goes to a full referendum.

The community forums are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 29, at the Southampton Cultural Center; 7 p.m. on November 5 at the Water Mill Community House; 6:30 p.m. on November 6 at the North Sea Community House; and 6:30 p.m. on November 12 at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton.

The November 18 straw poll will be the first of two votes on a reconfigured plan for the Southampton School District to annex the Tuckahoe School District. If approved separately in the straw votes in both districts, the merger would move to a final vote by the combined school districts in January, which would need majority approval to merge the two districts on July 1, 2015.

Since the first straw votes failed to pass in Southampton last year, that district has come up with a new “merger concept,” which includes two pieces of legislation from Albany—one that would slowly roll out tax increases for Southampton residents, and another that would allow the district to use capital reserve funds to offset tax increases. The district is using a line-by-line comparison of both districts’ budgets to create a new, joint spending plan without any redundancies.

With the new spending plan, Southampton School District officials believe they can offer more concrete numbers to taxpayers. According to Southampton officials, the current Tuckahoe School tax levy is $16,855,182, while the Southampton school tax levy is $50,749,238. Combining services and joining the two districts would create a combined school tax levy of $67,604,420 for the 2015-16 school year. Southampton officials said they believe they can curb unnecessary spending in the two districts.

With the reevaluated figures from Southampton, the merger would account for an incremental increase in the tax rate for a home in Southampton over the next decade from $2.44 to $2.77 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. That means that for the 2024-25 school year, the tax associated exclusively with the merger would add no more than $330 to the overall school tax bill for a house valued at $1 million. For the years in between, the taxes paid to cover the merger would rise gradually until reaching that $330 cap.

More information about the proposal, including how to get an absentee ballot, is available online at southamptonschools.org.

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why does the press keep saying there is a cap?
By Apri1 (8), Southampton on Oct 22, 14 11:25 AM
Propaganda. The long and short is Tuckahoe taxpayers screwed themselves and they need a bailout. If you live in the Southampton district VOTE NO or you will keep paying for Tuckahoe which has no plan on how to control costs.
By chief1 (2800), southampton on Oct 22, 14 5:49 PM
"The district is using a line-by-line comparison of both districts’ budgets to create a new, joint spending plan without any redundancies."

Now that's funny! Look under "administrators making over $150,000"!
By nazznazz (276), east hampton on Oct 22, 14 7:07 PM
In the past, I would have called these misinformation meetings...please tell me what has changed in a year? Clearly, this is all about taxes. I hope that the ramped up talk about Southampton residents not liking or wanting Tuckahoe residents in a combined school is behind us. Truly, the only people who were insulted by that theory were those outside of Tuckahoe. I can understand not wanting your property taxes so high, but I don't understand blaming it on misperceived class distinctions. We ...more
By Dodger (161), Southampton Village on Oct 23, 14 1:40 PM