The West York Area School Board voted 8-0 to approve a $51 million budget that includes a 2.1 percent tax increase and uses more than $4.6 million of the district's fund balance.
The 2.1 percent tax hike is the highest the district can adopt without voter approval or a special exception from the state. It means $63 in additional property taxes for the owner of a $150,000 home. It will raise $584,000 for the district and take the tax rate to 20.23 mills.
The district said the biggest revenue impacts included the reduction of basic education funding and the removal of the charter school reimbursement.
Board member Wade Markel was not present at Tuesday's meeting.
Superintendent Emilie Lonardi praised the board for long-range planning that meant the funds were available to help the district when funding was cut.
"But that does not mean we can assume those funds will always be available," Lonardi said in a press release. "We will continue to use 'the West York way' of returning all cost savings throughout the year to the general fund to be used toward the following year's expenses."
Lonardi further explained that financial conservatism is one of the reasons West York is able to maintain all current student programs.
Included in the budget is money set aside for an energy savings audit ($350,000) and a middle school lighting project ($215,000).
According to Lonardi, the board would still have to approve any project, and should they decide not to move forward on those, the money would be returned to general fund.
-- Reach Wendy L. Garman at 854-1575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.