Residents in the Bellefonte Area School District can expect to pay a little more in taxes next school year.
At a meeting Tuesday night, the board, in a 5-2 vote, approved the district’s 2017-18 budget of $50.08 million, which calls for a 1 percent tax increase from the current school year, but under the Act 1 index.
Board members Hope Boylston and Jon Guizar were absent. Board members Mike Danneker and Kim Hearn voted against the budget.
“I think I look back at (past board member) George Stone, and that we can always do better, and I just think that once again, like he said, ‘we can do more for our kids’,” Hearn said. “Of course I’d like to see more class existence, and be more carefully aware of how we spend.”
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“I know we have to spend, and have made some cuts in facilities, but I think there are other areas where we could save — in administration,” he said. “I think sometimes we should review that a little harder.”
The increase amounts to $2,470.90 annual taxes for the average homeowner in the district with a market value of $100,916 and assessed value of $50,458 — or $21.92 more annually, Director of Fiscal Affairs Ken Bean said.
Included in the budget is $19,021,081, or 38 percent, which goes toward salaries; and $14,139,124, or 28.2 percent, which would go toward benefits. Estimated charter school costs also increased to $1.85 million — up from $1,750,941 from the current school year.
Bean said he expects that number to increase to $1.9 million once more charter school student numbers are totaled by the end of the month.
The board also unanimously approved the 2017-18 athletic fund budget of $730,000, and food service budget of $1.647 million.