Palmyra Board of Education votes to approve tentative 2017–2018 budget

The total budget is $18.01 million with $10.22 million to be raised through resident taxes.

The Board of Education at last week’s meeting approved the tentative 2017–2018 budget and authorized the board secretary to submit it to the executive county superintendent of schools for approval.

The total budget is $18.01 million with $10.22 million to be raised through taxation. This is an increase from last year’s $17.70 million budget. The board budgeted $293,645 to go directly to a capital reserve fund for architectural design planning for future updates and upgrades to already-existing facilities. Not counting the capital reserve fund, the total operating budget is $17.72 million, which is $18,042 higher than last year’s budget, or less than one-tenth of a percent.

“We are very proud to have been able to keep the operating budget relatively flat, considering the ever-increasing costs of payroll and benefits,” board secretary Todd Reitzel said.

For the average Palmyra home valued at $147,605, school taxes would increase by approximately $101 per year, totaling $3,163, if the budget passes as presented, according to Reitzel. The tax rate per $100 of assessed home value will rise by 7 cents.

The board of education budget will exceed the 2 percent cap set by the state. The proposed budget includes an adjustment for banked cap. The district increased the base budget by $65,190 for necessary operational costs, as it has exhausted all eligible statutory spending authority.

No programs will be cut this year — instead, the district will be adding programs to its Advanced Placement curriculum, science and world language programs.

While it’s too early to know for sure, Reitzel says the district anticipates to receive federal grant money equal to last year, or slightly less.

“We will not know for sure what the district will receive for many months,” Reitzel said. “State aid for operations is identical to this year, although we did lose some funding in debt service aid due to refinancing of our bonds.”

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Wednesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at the Delaware Avenue School.