East Lycoming budget expected to increase taxes

HUGHESVILLE – Taxpayers in the East Lycoming School district may see their real estate taxes increased by 0.67 mill, according to a preliminary budget proposed at the school board’s Wednesday night meeting.

The balanced preliminary budget totals $21,885,478 – about a 3.4 percent increase over last year’s budget.

According to David L. Maciejewski, business manager for the district, the proposed budget also reflects the real estate tax increase and some use of the district’s general fund to reach a balanced figure. Several important factors, such as education and retirement subsidies, have yet to be finalized.

“We do our best to balance the fiscal responsibilities we have to both taxpayers and employees while still maintaining a high quality of education for our students,” Maciejewski said.

He noted a decrease in state aid revenue, cyber schooling and changing retirement rates were the primary stresses on the new school year’s budget.

Currently, real estate taxes represent about 60 percent of all local taxes for those in the district, according to Maciejewski.

The district expects to receive about $11 million from state aid in the 2013-14 school year. It reflects an increase of about 1.35 percent over the last seven years.

Maciejewski noted that the consumer price index is 2.48 percent, leaving about a $300,000 to $500,000 gap. “We had to make that up somewhere,” he said, adding that the district is grateful for the continued support of its taxpayers.

The preliminary budget must be adopted before Feb. 20 in order for the school to apply for an expected 0.4-mill state retirement system subsidy.

The district expects to adopt the preliminary budget at it’s next meeting.

The board and administration are expected to continue working on the final budget from March through June.