AP NEWS

Berlin passes tentative budget without tax hike

May 10, 2019

The property tax rate in the Berlin Brothersvalley School District will remain the same in the coming school year.

During a meeting Thursday night, the school board unanimously voted to keep the tax rate at 28.75 mills for the 2019-20 school year. The board also unanimously passed a tentative budget with projected revenues of $11.5 million and expenditures of $13.3 million.

The spending plan has a projected $3.3 million fund balance as of June 30 this year.

“I think we’re very fiscally responsible,” Superintendent David Reeder said. “The board does a good job. They really scrutinize the budget.

“You hate to raise taxes, so we try not to.”

The last time taxes were increased was for the current school year when the rate climbed by three-quarters of a mill.

In next year’s plan, the budget carries a projected $1.8 million deficit. District business manager Lori Gindlesperger said she thinks that deficit can be lowered before the school year ends. She used the current year as an example, noting that a $1.369 million deficit was projected, but it looks like the district will end the school year about $150,000 to $175,000 in the black.

If the deficit isn’t brought down, she said, the fund balance will cover it.

“We always do revenues low and expenditures high,” she explained.

In the budget there are multiple one-time expenditures, including buying band uniforms, installing a new phone system, making roof repairs and adding Google Chromebooks to the high school. The spending totals $591,551.

Gindlesperger said those expenses will be paid for using $881,459 that has been added to the fund balance since June 2014. The figure is included in the projected June 30 number.

“Rather than raise taxes,” she said, “we decided to use the fund balance for those one-time expenses.”

The budget is set to be on display at the school for public inspection before being finalized in June. A copy can be found at www.dailyamerican.com.