The $29.8 million budget includes a 3.1 percent tax increase for Tioga County property owners, as well as a 2.75 tax increase for Lycoming County property owners that live within the Southern Tioga School District. On Monday, May 9th, the school board voted 6-3 on the proposed final budget. Director John Ritter, who has spoken against a real estate tax increase, along with Ivan Erway and Michele McDermott, voted against the budget due to the real estate tax increase. President Stephen Guillaume along with Directors John Martin, James Kreger, Julie Miller, Sandra Olson, and Sean Bartlett voted for the budget. The 3.1 percent tax increase is the maximum amount that is allowed under Act 1.
There is still a projected deficit of $571,000 with the real estate tax increase. Ritter proposed keeping the tax increase at 1.55 percent. The deficit would be increased by around $150,000 with that tax rate.
The increase in salaries and benefits will be approximately $72,000. Business manager Kathy Ciaciulli said that the increase is because of a board approved part-time paraprofessional position being created as well as more game managers. Ciaciulli also said that the board expects to spend around $4 million more by the end of the year. She also explained that there was a revenue decrease of $37,000. However, local revenues increased by $28,000 because of delinquent taxes being collected.
Tioga County’s millage rate will increase to 16.51 mills. In Lycoming County, the millage rate will increase to 16.06 mills.
The school board also talked about demolishing the old North Penn High School building. District Superintendent Sam Rotella recommended demolishing it over closing it, selling it, or renting it. He recommended hiring McClure to carry out the project. Kreger agreed with Rotella on hiring McClure for the project while Martin did not. Ritter recommended bidding out the project. Guiliaume did not want to bid out the project because someone would have to be hired in order to supervise the demolition. The school board will decide the fate of the old North Penn High School building at its meeting on Thursday, June 9th.