Baldwin-Whitehall taxes going up in '18-19 budget
The Baldwin-Whitehall School Board passed its 2018-19 budget of $67.68 million and eliminated the district athletic director position, a move its superintendent said was business related.
“It's not personal,” said Superintendent Randal Lutz during the June 13 meeting. “My task is to present a balanced budget.”
Next year's budget means taxes will be raised by .68 mills, bringing the district's tax rate to 21.05 mills. On a house valued at $100,000, this means property taxes will go up by $68 a year. Board member Louise Wolf cast the lone no vote on next year's budget.
Lutz said five teachers took advantage of the district's early-retirement incentive, a move that will save $300,000 a year. In addition, the district is looking at reducing both the number of bus stops, as well as bus times.
Also, the number of special needs students in the district now numbers more than 500, up from 384 last year,
“We are pushing the limits where possible,” he said.
Complicating matters for school officials, however, is the fact that the district — which still has a $1 million budget deficit going into next year — is expected to grow by 1,000 students during the next 10 years and four of the district's five buildings are in need of renovation.
Preliminary estimates show that it could cost the district as much as $40 million to update and renovate the buildings.