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Mars OKs proposed budget with tax increase

Preliminary budget includes 3.474 mill tax increase

ADAMS TWP — School board directors at Mars Area School District approved 7-2 the 2024-25 preliminary budget at a meeting Tuesday, May 14, with a tax increase of 3.474 mills.

The budget of $62,725,076 includes an increase in expenditures of more than $3.8 million and a deficit of $954,000.

According to business manager Debbie Brandstetter, top expenses include salaries, benefits and contractual increases, as well as health care premium increases with the district’s consortium, the Midwestern Insurance Combine. Health care premiums will increase by 20.68% for the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Brandstetter said the tax increase would be used to cover part of the cost in health care premiums and fund debt service payments.

The tax increase would bring the millage rate from 105.526 to 109.00.

For a homeowner of a property assessed at $28,665, the tax increase would come out to about $100 a year, Brandstetter said after the meeting.

The median home in Mars is assessed at a lower price, she said.

“The majority of us don’t want to raise taxes, but we will if we have to,” board director Jennifer DiCuccio said at the meeting.

The school board will vote on the finalized budget June 18.

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