School board approves budget, OKs tax hike

From staff reports

The Greencastle-Antrim School Board approved a 2017-18 budget supported by a 3.5-mill property tax increase last week.

Little changed in the spending plan from versions presented in May. The final expenditure tally of $39,761,553 does include $52,000 not included in earlier versions of the budget — $13,000 for network improvements, $24,000 for primary school whiteboards and $15,000 for band equipment.

Projected revenues fall short of expenses at $38,145,195, for a deficit of more than $1.6 million.

The 3.5-mill tax increase is the highest allowed by law and brings the district’s tax rate to 109.84 mills. The average taxpayer, with a property valued at $329,030, will pay an additional $82.22 next year, according to figures presented by Jolinda “JC” Wilson, chief financial support services officer.

There really wasn’t much discussion about the budget before the votes on June 15 because most of the figures were reviewed at a May 15 work session, according to Dr. Kendra Trail, superintendent.

Both the tax increase and the budget passed 6-1, with Michael Still voting no and Brian Hissong and Pat Fridgen absent. Yes votes came from Shannon Yates, Eric Holtzman, Paul Politis, Linda Farley, James Winslow and Tracy Baer.