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Salisbury Board Approves Preliminary Budget With Tax Increase

Although it's still early in the process, the Salisbury Township School Board approved a proposed preliminary budget with a 6 percent tax increase.

Although months from final approval, the proposed preliminary budget for 2012-2013 includes a 6.6 percent tax increase. The tax increase in the $30.7 million budget will likely change several times before the proposed final budget is approved in May.

The school board, which approved the preliminary budget last week, was required to submit this phase to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

A 6.63 percent tax increase would raise the total millage from 46.8538 to 50.1580. The state allows the district to raise taxes 1.7 percent, but the district can apply for exemptions, such as pension and special education costs, that permit it to raise taxes.

Business Administrator Christine Stafford said if the state allows the exceptions, the district could raise taxes to 5.35 percent and cut $350,000 from the budget. Without a tax increase, the district would have to cut $1.4 million from the budget, she said.

Until Gov. Corbett presents his budget on Feb. 7, there are many unknown factors, she said.

"We are not anticipating an increase in funding," Stafford said. Just as the was cut back to the 2008 levels, "we are anticipating the same."

As to what to cut from the budget, "We are looking at everything," Stafford said. If they have to make cuts, she said they prefer to not replace positions as staff retire or resign.

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