LOWER GWYNEDD >> As the 2016-17 school year winds to a close, members of the Wissahickon School Board have finished etching away at a budget that will preserve a tradition of high academic standards at the lowest costs possible.
“The budget this year is a culmination of eight months of intense study and debate,” board President Sherri Becker. “It was no easy task.”
Based upon the administration’s best estimate of the necessary expenditures for the 2017-18 school year, the board presented a Final Expenditure Budget of $99,645,722, up from $95,086,629 the previous year.
“I think it’s important for the community to understand the larger factors at play,” board Vice President Joe Honeycutt said. “One is personnel; 85 percent of our budget is personnel-driven. Things like salary and benefits are costs which are going to continue to rise.
“The other is capital expenses. We did a great job focusing on those, and they’re going to rise in the years to come as well. I think it’s reasonable to expect that the board is going to keep tax increases as low as possible, but many of the larger pieces are beyond our control,” he said.
“Unless we’re willing to cut programs and personnel, taxes are going to keep rising,” he said.
Taxpayers can expect a 3.46 percent tax increase from the previous year, down from a 4.51 percent increase in 2016-17. School tax millage rates rung in at 19.44 mills, up from 18.79 mills. The increase means an additional $134 annually for a household with the district’s median assessed value of…
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