Bellefonte Area preliminary budget calls for $1.21 million increase

The Bellefonte Area school board, in an 8-0 vote, approved a 2017-18 preliminary budget Tuesday nigh at its bimonthly meeting.

Member Kim Hearn was absent.

More than 66 percent of the proposed $50.525 million budget is slated to go toward salaries and benefits.

According to a report from the district, the budget calls for a $1.21 million increase from the current school year, and could impose a tax increase as high as 4.5 percent.

But district Director of Fiscal Affairs Ken Bean said it’s a conservative and early estimate, based on a five-year plan.

“It’s not a worst-case scenario, but maybe a bad-case scenario,” Bean said.

Bean said he’s working with a team to make that tax increase as little as possible, and told the board the goal is to not have a tax increase at all.

By state law, a final budget must be passed by June 30.