School district budgets will be approved next week

June 2 – With local school districts running on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal year, it means budgets need to be approved soon.

Which means we all get to find out how back our pocketbooks will be hit with taxes.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll, Pat Ryan and Michele Jansen talked school budgets this morning on First News.

Barkdoll said, “Listeners should keep an eye on all of these things next week. I don’t think there’s been any reporting about budget adoption but these are big deals because these affect everyone who lives in the area.”

The good news for people who live in Chambersburg is the proposed budget has a zero percent tax increase.

“They’re citing all the federal stimulus money,” Barkdoll said. “They’re also citing the ever-expanding tax base in Chambersburg. We all know about all the development that’s going on. Any time there’s a new house or a new factory, that’s adding to the tax base. They have not adopted that yet, but the proposal is zero percent.”

That’s not the case in other districts.

Barkdoll said, “In Waynesboro they’re going to at least propose a millage increase of around 3 mills. They’re claiming that in their case, cyber charter expenses and increased health insurance rates are offsetting the federal stimulus money. That has not been voted on. My guess is it’ll get pared down.”

Jansen pointed out, “Let’s not give Chambersburg too much credit. I don’t think Waynesboro raised theirs at all last year and Chambersburg actually went as high as they could and claimed it’s because they thought there would be expenses from COVID and they got $33 million. It would have been outrageous if they would have suggested anything but no increase this year.”

Barkdoll added, “Listeners, that’s a very key point. Just because there’s a zero millage increase, doesn’t mean the budget itself doesn’t keep expanding because the more revenue that comes in, there’s ways they can keep spending more even without a tax increase and that’s a dangerous formula.”