6.5 jobs cut plus 3.9 percent tax hike for Oxford

OXFORD – Oxford taxpayers will face an estimated 3.9 percent tax levy hike based on the tentative budget adopted by the district’s board of education last night. The proposed spending plan, which voters will be asked to approve on May 18, totals $17,087,976. According to Superintendent Randy Squier, that figure represents a $140,724, or .82 percent, decrease in spending over the current year's budget.

“[T]he Board and I are very sensitive to the fact that a 3.9 percent levy increase is added financial pressure on all our residents, especially those who are unemployed or on fixed incomes,” said Squier, who commended the community for their support of the local school in the past.

“I ask that residents review our budget documents and notice that our spending will be less than 2008-09 and that state aid will be reduced for a second year,” he added. “The school has been responsible with our expenditures, and now must weather the economic mess created by our state-wide elected officials.”

Oxford, like all districts across New York, is facing steep reductions in state aid in the coming year. Their share of Governor David Paterson’s plan to narrow the state’s budget gap is $428,445, the equivalent of 2.5 percent of the district’s total budget for the current academic year. At the same time, according to Squier, they face an additional $654,000 in employee benefit related expenses, as well as contractually obligated wage increases for members of the support staff and teachers unions. All told, Oxford was facing a gap between its anticipated revenue and expenditures in excess of $1 million.

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