The Big Spring School Board approved a final budget with a 2.5% real estate tax increase with a 6-2 vote Monday evening.
Board members John Wardle, Todd Deihl, William Swanson, Donna Webster, Frank Myers and William Piper voted in favor of the proposed budget. Sharpe Over and Kenneth Fisher were opposed and Richard Roush was absent.
Michael Statler, the district’s business manager, listed a general increase in costs as well as charter school tuition among other reasons for the tax increase while formally presenting the proposed budget to the board.
The increase will raise the millage rate from 15.5002 to 15.8877, a difference of 0.3875 mills. Therefore, the owner of property valued at $100,000 would pay $1,588.77. This would be a $38.75 increase from last year.
The board also approved the Homestead/Farmstead Resolution for the 2022-23 fiscal year during its meeting Monday night.
Since 2006, Pennsylvania gambling revenue has been used to give Big Spring residents who own property in the district a credit of about $133 off their real estate tax bills. However, due to the state receiving higher revenue than usual, Statler said that instead of funding 80% of this allocation, the state will fund its entirety for the first time. With the board’s approval, qualifying residents will receive a credit closer to $170 this year, about a $35 increase from years past.
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Calculating the increased real estate tax payment with the higher homestead/farmstead credit, Statler said residents will see a total tax increase of $2.38 from last year to this year.
According to the district’s Budget Book which is available online, the new budget’s revenues total $59,368,370 and expenses total $59,551,070, both of which increased following Statler’s previous budget presentation. With expenses totaling more than its revenues, Statler said the remaining $182,700 will be pulled from the district’s unassigned fund balance.
“This board member thanks each and every tax payer of this school district for every penny provided to support everything that happens in this school district,” Piper, who also serves as the board’s secretary, said during the meeting.
The budget will go into effect July 1 and end on June 30, 2023.