East Lycoming schools approve tax increase
By MARK MARONEY
HUGHESVILLE — East Lycoming School Board adopted a $26.5 million 2019-2020 budget Tuesday night that includes a real estate tax hike.
The real estate tax rate will increase to 14.38 mills, which represents a 0.44 mill increase or 3.6 percent.
It did not require the use of the exception for special education expenditures, said David Maciejewski, district business manager.
Tax rates set of 0.5 percent of 1 percent for real estate transfer tax and 1.2 percent for earn income tax.
It is an increase of $923,524 over this year’s budget.
Superintendent Michael Pawlik noted the $26,550,413 budget was adopted even before the state Senate had voted on the state budget.
The district’s expenditure increases were seen in salary and wages, $217,885; retirement contribution, $163,828; special education services, $78,809; and vocational tuition for the LycoCTC, $20,000.
It also includes an increase of $125,000 in the facility maintenance reserve used for building and infrastructure projects targeted over the next three to five years.
Maciejewski noted in order to remain within the Act 1 index, the tax hike could not exceed 0.44 mills.
As outlined for the board in the district’s five-year financial forecast, the district will be using committed fund balance (savings) in the amount of $575,000 to balance the budget.
The fund balance will be used over each of the next four years to phase in the increase in retirement contributions and to minimize the need for higher local real estate taxes, Maciejewski said.
The facility maintenance reserve amount of $125,000 allows the district to plan for projects occurring in the outlying years. These include high school air conditioning chiller replacement and roof refurbishments.
In other action, the board:
• Accepted the retirement and resignation of Ronald Lorson, high school principal, effective Jan. 1.
• Plans to induct Daniel DiRocco into the Hughesville High School Academic Hall of Fame for his career work in the field of chemistry.
• Hired George Wood as a chemistry teacher, $56,355; Lori Neiswender as a special education teacher, $53,485; and Heather Baney as a full-time guidance counselor, $53,485.
• Accepted a bus contractors’ three-year transportation contract.
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 16.