The South Butler School Board has approved a preliminary budget for the 2019-20 school year with no tax increase, but no tax decrease either.
During a school board meeting Wednesday night, officials revealed that an expected general fund budget of just under $36 million in expenses for next year reflected an unexpected reduction in healthcare costs.
Board members Matthew Cimbala, Jill McDonald, Rebecca Boyd and Donna Eakin voted in favor of passing that savings- approximately $40 per year for an average property owner- back to the taxpayers. But, board members George Zacherl, Jackie Pfeiffer, Linda Rieck and Debra Miller voted against the tax decrease saying the surplus could be used for improvements in school safety or infrastructure.
Since board member Bob Goodlin was not in attendance, the 2 mill decrease proposal did not achieve the necessary five votes and did not pass.
The next proposal for holding the millage rate constant at this year’s 94.275 rate did pass by a 5-3 vote with Cimbala, Boyd and Eakin opposed. That budget will now be posted for public review on the district’s website for 30 days.
South Butler school board members are asking for feedback from the public before they take a final vote on next year’s budget in June. The board could change the budget to allow for the decrease as long as the budget is able to be balanced and at least five board members approve it.