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Budget plan would increase taxes

April 23, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Real estate taxes for the average homeowner would increase about $23 under a 1998-99 preliminary budget plan approved Wednesday by the Chambersburg Area School District Board of Directors.

The $51.9 million spending plan would increase taxes by 3.5 mills to 124 mills. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.

The preliminary budget passed on a 5-3 vote. A public hearing on the budget will be held on June 3, at Chambersburg Area Middle School. A final vote is set for June 10.

"I'm not for putting money aside, taxing someone and then putting it in the bank," said Director Bill Fosnot, who voted against the plan.

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"I want to see definite plans" for the excess revenues, said Director Fred Rice, who also voted against the budget.

Last week, when the administration unveiled the plan, Fike said 2 mills would balance the budget.

Superintendent Edwin Sponseller said the administration wanted a 4-mill increase, so the extra revenue could be set aside for future projects.

Sponseller said those projects include improved classroom technology, developing the J. Schoeneman Co. property and improvements to 250 acres the district hopes to acquire from Letterkenny Army Depot for an environmental education center.

The administration came back Wednesday with a smaller tax increase because of lower costs for health insurance in the upcoming year.

"We've bought real estate and now we've got to make improvements to it," Director Bob Helman said of the Schoeneman property the district bought about two years ago.

"I think it's a realistic increase and we still have a month to fine-tune it," Director Penny Stoner said of the tax hike.

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