This article by Derek Carson originally appeared Jan. 30 in the Bennington Banner.
ARLINGTON — School Board members last week approved and warned a budget that is projected to increase taxes by over 9 cents, despite only a slight increase in spending.
The fiscal 2019 budget for the Arlington School District, which was approved unanimously by the board Jan. 24, is $6.956 million, up 1.66 percent over the current year. William Bazyk, superintendent for the Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union, pointed out that this number is below the rate of inflation. But, largely because of factors outside the board’s control, the homestead education tax rate is projected to go up 9.8 cents over the current fiscal year.
“We’ve had multiple meetings with the principals,” Bazyk said. “We feel that they got what they needed. There were really no cuts.” He said that besides one additional pre-kindergarden teacher, which was necessitated by student population, there were no major additions to the budget. He said that the district also saw considerable savings, about $260,000, through consolidation and adjustments made at the central office.
The reason that the tax rate is increasing much more than the budget is the property tax yield adjustment, a figure set by the Legislature that forms the baseline for determining tax rates. The rate is projected to be lowered from last year, and the lower the rate, the higher taxes will be, regardless of spending in any individual district.
Read full article at the Bennington Banner.
(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)