Wyandanch considers piercing 2% tax cap

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There could be higher property taxes for some Suffolk residents if the Wyandanch School District pierces the state's 2% tax cap.

Wyandanch would pierce the tax cap with a 9% spending increase. That translates to a 42% increase in property taxes, or about $274 per year.

"It's really difficult for us to sit here and ask them to do that," says Wyandanch Schools Superintendent Dr. Mary Jones. "It's almost shameful to ask them to do that. But we have to present a balanced budget to the community, that's the law. And that's what we have done."

Jones says she hopes residents realize what's on the line. If the budget doesn't pass and the district goes on contingency, sports, after-school band, field trips and 10th-period instructional support will be cut districtwide.

The district is also considering contracting out its security services and cutting back on student transportation. All students currently get bused in, but they are proposing it only be provided for students who require it according to state law.

Wyandanch parent Robert Johnson says the proposed increase is crazy, but so is the alternative because his daughter is in the band and uses extra help after school.

"I would have to vote for it because it's for my kid, and I have to do whatever I have to for my child," says Johnson.

Taxpayers will vote on the school budget on May 21. If the budget fails, the district will hold a revote June 18.

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