Montoursville’s proposed budget includes tax hike

Montoursville Area School Board approved a proposed $30 million budget that hikes real estate taxes by 0.30 mills, Tuesday night.

The tax hike represents a slightly smaller figure than the 0.46 millage hike formerly considered.

Business Manager Brandy Smith noted that some adjustments were made in different areas of the budget to allow for the smaller increase.

A 0.30 millage increase would mean a $30 per year higher real estate tax bill for homeowners whose properties are assessed at $100,000.

Smith noted that a total of $278,651 will be used from the fund balance to help balance the budget.

That is expected to leave the fund balance at about $3.3 million.

Board Member Ron Snell noted the tax increase will hit some property owners hard, particularly those on fixed incomes.

“I’ve seen people in that situation,” he said. “Believe it or not, a lot of people in this district are in that position.”

He noted that property taxes have been hiked for 11 of the past 14 years.

The vote to approve the proposed spending plan was 7-2.

Voting yes were William Ruffing, Jennifer Marriott, Susan Beery, Dave Shimmel, Dottie Mathers, Robert Logue, and Scott Konkle. Voting no were Ron Snell and Daniel Albert.

The final budget is expected to be approved at the board’s June meeting.

In other action, the board approved the hiring of Richard Drzewiecki to conduct a commercial appraisal on the Lowe’s property in connection with its tax appeal.

The costs for the appraisal will be shared with Montoursville Borough and Lycoming County.

In personnel matters, the board approved the retirements of high school chemistry teacher Brad Deacon, paraprofessional Carol Hetler and secretary Karen McCourt.

Superintendent Christina Bason said the three will be missed.

The board accepted the resignations of Evelyn Wynn, athletic director/health and physical education teacher and cafeteria worker Jannine Monness.

Shawn Gardner was approved as girls head tennis coach at a stipend of $2,480 and Amber Lowry as head cheerleading coach at a stipend of $3,600.

The board approved graduation for the 130 students who have met all state and district requirements. Commencement is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6 at Memorial Stadium.