Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive budget includes cutting "high tax aid" by close to a third and if state lawmakers sign off on the proposal, both the Wantagh and Seaford school districts will feel the cuts.
Across the entire state budget unveiled by Cuomo in late January, the amount allocated for high tax aid, which is given to districts in mostly downstate areas that deal with higher costs than regions where expenses are not as high, is being cut $50 million. Wantagh would receive $261,827 in high tax aid, compared to $872, 758 last year. Seaford's high tax aid is also significantly down in the governor's 2013/14 fiscal plan from $710,955 received this year to $213,286.
The cuts in high tax aid to Wantagh and Seaford is a big reason why both districts would not get much help in Cuomo's proposed budget. The state legislature has until April 1 to adopt a budget for the 2013/14 fiscal year.
The neighboring Levittown School District, which is attended by students in northern sections of Wantagh and Seaford, will have its high tax aid of $208,322 stay intact if Cuomo's budget gets adopted as is.
Seaford Superintendent of Schools Brain Conboy said he hopes State Sen. Charles Fuschillo, R-Merrick, and Assemblyman David McDonough, R-North Merrick, will be able to lobby for a restoration of additional high tax aid before a final budget is adopted in Albany.
"If we need some additional assistance from our legislators that is what should be examined," said Conboy of the large drop in high tax Aid. "If you look across the Nassau County districts on the state aid runs it seems a pretty common thing that all of the districts had to deal with."