As of June 2015, the district had eight reserve funds with a total balance of $17.6 million, according to ABLI’s complaint filed in state Supreme Court.
The suit seeks class-action status and to prevent school districts from overestimating budget needs, Harris told The Point. Property taxes alone are responsible for costs of $20 per square foot in East Meadow’s commercial spaces. ABLI members can’t attract or retain businesses at those prices, Harris said.
The suit says, the workers’ compensation reserve fund is $2.8 million and the unemployment insurance reserve totals $1.3 million. Over the last three years, the average annual payouts from these funds were $425,660 and $50,226, respectively.
New York State tax law limits the amount of unexpended surplus funds a school district can retain to no more than 4 percent of the next year’s budget appropriations. ABLI’s suit claims East Meadow’s unrestricted fund balance has been running about 5 or 6 percent for several years.
It would have to be a very rainy day to soak up all that extra money.
See original Newsday post.