B-A School Board works through tough issues

The Bellwood-Antis School Board had a tough decision to make Tuesday night.
As mandated by Act 1 of 2006, the board was required to submit, for the primary election of 2007, a referendum question to the electors of the school district seeking voter approval allowing the school district to levy, assess and collect either an Earned Income Tax or Personal Income Tax. The increased tax rate can be no less than .4 percent and no more than .8 percent for the purpose of funding homestead and farmstead exclusions to reduce school district property taxes.
It took a bit of time and several votes, but board members had no choice, they had to make a decision.
The first option voted on was to approve the recommendation of the Tax Study Commission that included selection of the Earned Income Tax and an additional tax rate of .6 percent. This motion failed with a 6 to 2 vote.
Eventually a decision was reached, as the board reluctantly voted, 5 to 3, to approve the selection of Earned Income Tax for the referendum questions. The board then approved increasing the tax rate by .4 percent, the minimum increase allowed.
“It really comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils,” said business manager, Ken Swanson.
In other business, the board also approved the preliminary general fund budget which contained a five mill increase, raising the millage from 99 to 104 mills for the 2008-09 school year, to help pay for the Myers Elementary School expansion project.