When: Manheim Township school board meeting, May 21.
What happened: Board members voted 6-2 in favor of a 1.5% real estate tax hike, with Stephen Grosh and April Weaver dissenting; John Smith was absent. The board will vote June 18 on a final budget of $103.40 million that carries a deficit of $3.93 million.
What it means: A 1.5% tax hike on the median property assessment of $222,200 would add $51 to a property owner’s annual tax bill. The new levy would be 15.54 mills, resulting in a bill of $3,452.99 for a median assessed property. The board had been presented with an option to not raise the tax rate, but it would widen the deficit further.
Quotable: “This is a tough one,” Grosh said prior to the vote. “It’s my sixth budget, and I don’t think I’ve ever wrestled with it so much. ... There are good arguments on both sides.” He cited a healthy fund balance and a good credit rating because of the district’s growing tax base and a strong wealth and income profile.
Graduation: Virtual graduation will be held June 4, and diplomas will be awarded June 6. In a survey of seniors, 60% said what they would miss most is walking across the stage to receive their diplomas. In response, a ceremony with an outdoor stage and social distancing has been arranged.
What’s next: The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. June 11. The board has not yet determined whether to hold it on Zoom or on campus.