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Suburban School Budget Votes On Tuesday

Suburban voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide on their district's school budget and elect school board members.

The executive director of the Monroe County School Board Association, Jody Siegle, says budget discussions have been difficult this year. She says that's because of rising rising pension and benefits costs, limited state aid and the state's new property tax cap.

"How you identify the most important elements in your program, and keep your academic programs strong," says Siegle. "Districts are still using their reserves to cover the cost for this year and it's an ongoing problem."

Siegle says the increase in property tax levies varies among the 18 school districts in the Monroe County. She says the typical allowed increase from the state is between 1.7 percent to 4.2 percent. 

"If the cap is higher than people think the cap might have been, it's because of the impact of the state mandated costs, and local districts can't do anything about that," Siegle says.

Siegle says she anticipates voter turnout to be low - somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent of eligible voters turning up at the polls.

Polling sites open at 6 a.m. on Tuesday and close at 9 p.m.