WELLSBORO - Taxpayers will get a bigger tax bill from the Wellsboro Area School District next year.
By a vote of 5-2, the board approved its $22.2 million 2012-13 budget Tuesday night, increasing millage for Tioga County district taxpayers to 16.75 mills, and 13.65 mills for Lycoming County taxpayers.
The $83,000 deficit remaining will be taken care of with a transfer of funds from the district's fund balance.
Resident Al Beiber, a former school board member, said he felt the board should have worked harder to keep from raising taxes on residents who may not be able to afford it.
Two members of the board agreed. Both Jonathan Lawton and John Peropat voted against the budget.
Lawton said though he thought the board did a "decent" job with the budget, but he didn't agree with "is taking from reserve fund, and there is some adjusting and adapting that could be done to make this budget better than it is. I don't agree with every year the taxpayer gets whacked while others gain and in the process some lose their jobs and programs are lost, and the students can't learn without the programs."
In response to a question from resident Jim Reifer, Superintendent Chris Morral said the proposed electronic sign project for Rock L. Butler Middle School is a "dead issue," even though the district had "obtained a couple grants and had permission from the borough" to change the sign.
Reifer also asked about pans for replacing the old bleachers, which were removed due to their poor condition, in time for fall sports.
Morral said there were no plans to bring in portable bleachers, because the cost is too high.
"For 150 seats it would cost $20,000, and we just didn't feel we could afford that," he said.