Chambersburg schools budget would up taxes

April 15, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Two mills would balance the 1998-99 Chambersburg Area School District budget, but a 4-mill increase in real estate taxes will help the district set aside cash for major projects in the future, according to Superintendent Edwin Sponseller.

The $53.3 million preliminary budget was reviewed by the school board Wednesday night. It represents an increase of slightly more than 3 percent over the current year's budget of $51.7 million.

The board is scheduled to give tentative approval to the budget April 22.

The 4-mill increase, if approved, will raise the district's mill rate to 124.5 mills, according to Business Manager George W. Fike. Each mill represents $176,611 in tax revenues, he said.

A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

The tax increase would raise property owners' tax rates about 3 percent next year.

The increased mill rate would raise revenues from all sources to almost $52 million with anticipated expenditures for 1998-99 of $51.8 million. According to the budget outline, the district would have a budgetary reserve of approximately $1.5 million.


Sponseller said one of the extra 2 mills the administration is asking for will not be spent next year, but set aside for improved instructional technology. He said the technology plan is still being developed and is expected to be complete near the end of June.

The other mill would go toward "a combination of program improvements," Sponseller said. Among those are improvements to the former J. Schoeneman Co. property and a proposed agricultural and environmental education center on 250 acres at Letterkenny Army Depot.

Most of the Schoeneman factory, across the street from the high school, is being demolished. The district bought the property about two years ago and plans to renovate the remaining part of the plant for administrative offices.

A plan for the rest of the property is still under development.

The district is also planning to take possession of a section of Letterkenny Army Depot that was declared excess property by the Department of the Army after the 1995 Base Realignment of Closure Commission decision to downsize the depot.

The position of agriculture and environmental coordinator is being added at a salary of $44,600. Sponseller said that's the only expenditure related to the environmental center in next year's budget.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for June 3, with final approval set for June 10.

The Herald-Mail Articles