Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012, 9:28 pm

Cambridge School District to approve tax levy increase

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By Lisa Hammer, rlhammer@qconline.com

CAMBRIDGE - The school district plans to approve a tax levy of $2,178,902, up $143,823 from last year's $2,035,079. The tax rate will remain at $4.784.

Superintendent Tom Akers said the district's assessed valuation increased 7 percent, from last year's $42,539,225 to this year's estimated $45,545,601. He attributes part of the increase to the new wind turbines.

A hearing on the tax levy will be held at 6:45 p.m. on Dec. 18, before the regular monthly board meeting.

Mr. Akers told the school board on Tuesday that general state aid is falling. He said in 2009, the district received 21 payments of $84,533 but for next year, he's projecting the payments will fall to $65,689 although enrollment is up by 44 students.

"General state aid is a shell game and they're just really hurting school districts with it," Mr. Akers said, encouragingboard members to contact state legislators and complain.

The board unanimously approved placing a 1-cent county-wide sales tax referendum on the April 9 ballot. Proceeds from the tax only could be used for school buildings.

Mr. Akers said boards in Geneseo, Wethersfield and Colona also have approved adding that referendum question to the ballot."I'm thinking it will be on the ballot, so we're excited," he said.

The board also approved a contract with Gold Star FS to buy 3,000 gallons of gasoline and 10,500 gallons of diesel fuel through a co-operative comprised of farmers and businesses to save money. The price is not known at this point.