If the proposed budget were defeated, state law gives the Board of Education two options:
If voters defeat the proposal a second time, however, the board must adopt a contingent budget.
Under New York’s tax “cap” law, districts that adopt a contingent budget cannot increase the current tax levy by any amount—resulting in a zero percent tax levy increase.
Bringing the BH-BL tax levy increase down to zero would force the board to reduce the proposed budget by $749,307. In doing this, the board may not be able to adhere to its goal of preserving student programs and services or staff. It would likely have to make a number of staff reductions across all schools, which would increase class sizes.
Adopting a contingent budget prohibits a district from spending any money in certain areas, including community use of school facilities (unless all costs are reimbursed to the district); new equipment purchases; nonessential maintenance; capital expenditures (except in emergencies); salary increases for non-instructional and non-unionized employees; and certain field trips and student supplies.
Also under contingency rules, the administrative component of the budget would be subject to certain restrictions. These requirements existed prior to the tax levy cap and remain in effect.