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Butler School Board keeps 1 mill tax hike

July 8, 2014 News Extra

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BUTLER TWP — The Butler School Board voted Monday not to reopen the 2014-15 district budget which would have allowed board members to consider rescinding a one mill tax increase.

The board took up the issue of reconsidering the budget after learning the district will get more money from the state than originally anticipated.

Board members, in a 5-4 vote, decided not to reopen the budget.

Don Pringle, David Korn, Carmen Bianco, Al Vavro and John Conrad voted to keep the budget closed.

They are the board members who last month voted for the 1 mill property tax increase in the new budget.

Bill Halle, Jim Keffalas, Neil Convery and Karen Callihan voted to reopen the budget. They were the ones last month who voted for a zero tax increase when the final budget was approved.

The updated estimated budget for this coming school years reflects $465,000 more for the Ready to Learn block grant that the district will get, up to $895,000, and $80,000 more for special education funding, up to $4.28 million.

Superintendent Dale Lumley said, “Those numbers have not been finalized because we were originally given an indication that it would be $87,000 in additional special ed money. Most recently, that’s dropped down to $80,000.

He said, “Since it’s timely and we don’t know those numbers … Our recommendation would be, since you approved the budget with a 1 mill tax increase ...”

But Halle said the district needs to begin to live within its means, and not burden the taxpayers any more than necessary.

“That $540,000 to $550,000 (more), that’s more additional funds than what the 1 mill tax increase would be,” Halle said.

“That’s why I wanted to call the meeting, to recommend that we actually rescind that 1 mill and go to a no tax increase because we’re getting the money.”

The board on June 16 approved the $98.3 million budget with a tax rate of 94.8 mills.

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