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Comptroller reports on Phoenix Central School District's conservative budgeting

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In a recent report, the state comptroller's office found a budgeting trend was leaving the Phoenix Central School District with more money in their unrestricted fund balance than the state allows.

The unrestricted fund balance consists of money yet to have a specific purpose, similar to a "rainy day fund." According to New York State Real Property Tax Law, the balance can not exceed 4% of the next year's budget.

During the past three school years Phoenix has doubled that 4% threshold.

The district says they fund their reserves in order to minimize impact on taxpayers from large expenditures like retiree payments and capital projects.

In February, taxpayers voted in favor of a $38 million dollar project to renovate classrooms, put a new roof on the high school, and other improvements that can be seen on the brochure below.

Superintendent Christopher Byrne says they were able to get that project passed without having to ask for anymore money from the community.

Byrne says the district will use the comptroller's recommendations to improve their practices.

The district will also continue to be fiscally conservative in order to keep tax impacts at a minimum in the years ahead.

If you'd like to read the comptroller's full report, as well as the district's full response you can find it here.

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