For Tioga School Budget, Second Time’s The Charm

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The Tioga Central school district has a new budget after a re-vote yesterday. In May, voters turned down a budget with a big tax hike. This time, the district’s extracurricular activities were on the line, as was a big donation.

Tioga Superintendent Scott Taylor says the whole district breathed a sigh of relief. The result: over a thousand people in favor of the budget and about 400 against.

“I made a walk up through the building this morning, and it was a really different atmosphere than it’s been for the last month,” Taylor says.

In May, voters rejected a budget with a 30 percent tax increase. The revised plan puts the hike at 17 percent.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t know where state aid will be in another year. Are we out of the woods? No, but have we made a huge step in that direction?” Yes, Taylor says.

If the revised budget failed, the district would have gone to a backup plan with no tax increase. They would have cut extracurricular activities and missed out on a nearly $300,000 donation from Tioga Downs casino owner Jeff Gural. Gural said last week he’d pay for out-of-school activities at the district, but only if the budget passed.

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