After not raising taxes for a decade, the Mars Area School Board is proposing a tax increase next year in order to meet their 2018-19 school year budget.
With expected revenue just under $49 million and anticipated expenses just over that amount, the preliminary budget contains a 2.4 percent real estate tax increase. That is expected to allow the district to collect an additional over $600,000 in local tax revenue.
Mars Superintendent Dr. Wes Shipley said the increase in expenses is due to two main factors. First, the district plans to improve programs such as the special education program, literacy intervention and adding to guidance staff. The second increased expense will go towards improving learning spaces, mainly the construction project planned for the middle school.
District administrators are planning to not replace two retiring teachers. Cuts are also anticipated in the JV football program as well as instrumental instruction resulting in a reduction in the music staff by one position.
The budget will be posted for public review and a final vote will be taken at the June meeting.
Written By: Ryan Saeler for the Butler Radio Network