School leaders say financial setbacks are possible after man wins lottery jackpot

Homer School District leaders are preparing for possible financial setbacks after a resident won a huge lottery jackpot.

The moment Homer man Wayne Harris won the lottery was exciting-for him and his small village in Cortland County.

But his lump-sum jackpot payout may mean challenges ahead for the Homer Central School District.

"You'll see with the lottery winner taking the lump-sum, then it will increase the district's earnings or income for one year," said Superintendent of Management Michael Falls.

As a result, the district will seem wealthier for one full school year — which could mean less state aid.

"In the areas of state aid, for transportation aid, and what's called excess cost aid which factors in higher-need special education students," Falls said.

Falls said that could lead to higher school taxes as soon as 2021.

Joel Lansdowne grew up in Homer and his father still lives in the village.

"Although he doesn't have any children that are still going to school, he still has to pay taxes for the school district. They are quite high every year when he gets them," Lansdowne said.

It's still unclear what the exact impact will be, but Falls said the district is working closely with the state aid department to make sure they are prepared.

"We will stay on that until we get closer to 2021 to figure out the impact of the lottery winnings," Falls said.

Tax payers said it's still exciting for the big winner, but they too are keeping a close eye on what it means for them.

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