Voters are going to be asked on Town Meeting Day in March to approve a school budget increase of more than $1.2 million.
If approved the school portion of the Montpelier property tax rate will go from $1.311 to $1.441 per $100 in property value. That means for a home valued as $300,000, the tax bill will increase by nearly $400 a year. It comes out to a 13-cent increase on the tax rate.
Included in the fiscal year 2014 budget is $145,000 for Community Connections, which has apparently run out of grant funding and can't support itself with user fees.
The school budget has gone up more than $2 million in two years.
Superintendent Brian Ricca said in a December email that another part of the increase is the result of employee contracts.
"Contract negotiations with both the Teachers and IAs concluded at a three year contract for both units, 4%, 3%, 3%. We budgeted 2% for each unit.
The IAs were uniformly brought to the 85/15 contribution for Family Health care.
VEHI is recommending that School Districts budget a 14% increase in health care for FY14.
While we don't have hard numbers (Equalized Pupils, State Base Ed Payment, VT Residential Tax Rate, or Common Level of Appraisal in Montpelier), we have substantial increases in the early runs of the budget."
If some of that went over your head, as it did mine, I'll be speaking with Ricca on my show "Montpelier Now" on Feb. 26 to learn more about the budget.
In the meantime, you check out the document Ricca sends out when he's asked for a copy of the budget here.