Voters to decide on proposed $41 million school budget

The voters in the Hornell City School District will decide on a $41,093,309 proposed budget for the 2023-24 school year on Tuesday, May 16. The plan increases spending by $1,054,122 or 2.63% from the current year and includes a 1.24% tax levy increase, they will also have the opportunity to vote on a proposition to levy and collect a tax in the amount of $361,476 for the Hornell Public Library.

While on the same ballot, the Public Library operates independently of the School District.

For the school district, the amount requested to increase is below the maximum allowable tax levy increase for Hornell as determined by the state’s tax levy “cap” formula and as such, the proposal needs a simple majority vote (50% plus one) to be passed. This is the 10th consecutive year the district has budgeted below its maximum allowable tax levy growth cap.

“As a district, we set a goal to enhance and maintain programs where we can, while also being responsible with our finances. This year’s budget accomplishes this while keeping us on the trajectory to offering exceptional programs for students, maintaining and improving our facilities, and maintaining our fiscal health.” Superintendent Jeremy Palotti said.

Capital Outlay Project

Included in this year’s budget is an annual capital outlay project. These projects have been conducted every year and the school receives state building aid on them in the very next year. The aid received remains at about 98% of every dollar spent. For the 2023-24 school year, the district plans to upgrade the lights on the baseball stadium, improve fencing around the stadium, improve lighting in the High School, and other safety upgrades to the High School.

Also on the ballot

Residents will also decide on two additional propositions on May 16 and elect two candidates to the Board of Education for one five-year term and one two-year term.

Proposition 2: Transportation Reserve Expenditure

In 2022, the community voted to renew a School Bus Reserve Fund to be used for student transportation vehicles. The district is seeking voter approval to use part of those funds ($75,000) for new vehicles to be obtained prior to June 30, 2025.

Proposition 3: Leasing School Buses

The district is seeking voter approval to lease two 66-passenger school buses and one 28-passenger school bus for five years. The amount of these vehicles is not to exceed the estimated maximum cost of $460,000.

Public Library Budget Proposition

New York state education law allows libraries to place a funding proposition on school district ballots and requires school districts, at the libraries’ requests, to levy and collect taxes for libraries. Libraries are separate legal entities from the school district, with their own funding and budgets. The school district does not endorse, control or recommend any aspect of how the libraries spend money.

If voters approve the proposition, the school district would annually levy and collect taxes in the new amount for the library beginning in the 2023-24 fiscal year. The amount authorized for library services is listed as a separate line on residents’ tax bills.

Voter Information

Who may vote?

You may vote if you are 18 years old or older, a U.S. citizen, a district resident for at least 30 days, and a registered voter for either a general election or a school board election.

How do I register?

If you are registered to vote for the general election through the county, you are also registered for school votes. If you are not a registered voter for the general election through the county, you may register specifically with the Hornell City School District, for school votes only, by coming into
the district office on the registration day of April 28 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you have questions, contact the district clerk by phone at (607) 324-1302 ext. 1450.

Absentee ballots

To receive an absentee ballot by mail, voters must submit the required application to the district clerk by May 9, 2023. Applications can be requested by contacting the district clerk or obtained in person at the district office. Voters who choose to pick up the application at the district office have until one day before the election to submit it in person to the district clerk. Pursuant to election law, persons designated by the Steuben County Board of Elections as “permanently disabled” will automatically receive an absentee ballot. All absentee ballots must be returned to the district clerk by 5 p.m. on the day of the vote, May 16, 2023. The district office is located at 120 Raider Road, Hornell, NY.

See all 2023-24 Proposed Budget Details on the Budget & Finance Page.