The Southern York County school board approved a proposed final budget last week that would balance the budget by using the district's fund balance and increasing property taxes.

The district's $50.8 million budget plan includes an increase in taxes of 2.46 percent, less than the 2.5 percent cap allowed by the state this year. If adopted, the budget would mark the seventh consecutive year the district has had a tax increase lower than the index, said Wayne McCullough, the district's chief financial and operations officer.

For a homeowner with a property valued at $177,000 — the median value of a home in the district — the tax increase will be $76.11.

The district will also be using $1.6 million of its fund balance for the remainder of the deficit, a number that has been reduced from a $3.6 million deficit in November.

The three largest increases in the budget are rising costs for health insurance, special education and retirement contributions. Those total an increase of $1.6 million.

To reduce costs, the district decided not to replace eight teachers after retirements, McCullough said in an email. The district is in the midst of deciding how to organize its staff so class sizes and programs are not affected, he said. Four instructional aide positions will also be left vacant after retirements.

"We have an organization-wide culture of cost-effective operations that continues to position us well to maintain our excellent educational program despite the economic challenges we are faced with," superintendent Thomas Hensley said at last week's board meeting.

The board will vote to adopt the final budget at its meeting Thursday, May 22.

— Shannon Prusak contributed to this report. Reach Nikelle Snader at nsnader@yorkdispatch.com.