Voters Come Out in Elmira to Vote on School Budget

More than $110 million budget calling for a 5 percent tax hike.

Voters on Elmira School Budget

May 15, 2012

Elmira (WENY) - Today voters took to the polls for crucial school budget votes. Elmira taxpayers are voting on a more than $110 million budget calling for a 5 percent tax hike. Even with the increase, more than a hundred teaching positions will be cut. So will programs, some athletics and summer school. WENY asked about 20 people leaving the Elmira polls how they voted, only one said she voted against the budget. Most told us they understand the position school districts are in. After months of debate Elmira city school district board members had no choice but to go over the tax cap.

Today's five percent tax hike needs a super majority of 60 percent to pass. Last night, the maintenance and cafeteria workers union made $200,000 in concessions for next year, by delaying raises and changing vacations. Ultimately the fate of Elmira schools and its staff are in the hands of the voters.

Tony Ciccariello is from Elmira, his children went through the school system and he feels he should pay it back.

“We're all a society we're all in this thing together and my children did go through and people paid for their education when they went through.”

Kelly Gray from West Elmira has kids in the district, she also voted yes today.

“I mean our governor has dealt us what he gave us, and our superintendent is doing the best he can. It's just unfortunate all the way around. Do I want my taxes raised? No. But I want what's in the best interest of my children.”

Polls in Elmira are open until 8 P.M.