The Lackawanna Trail School Board voted 5-4 Monday night for a 2018-19 proposed $21.2 million budget that will see taxes go up 2.7 percent in the Wyoming County part of the district and 3.09 in Lackawanna County.
In voting no, board member Karl Beichler said, “I don’t want to see this school district broke, and I don’t want to see what we’ve built get destroyed, but we can’t keep going the way we’re going. We’ve got to get back to the basics and straighten this out.”
It was a sentiment echoed by about two dozen residents, some farmers, some housewives, some on fixed incomes, some local businessmen who for 90 minutes all complained about being taxed to death.
Benton Twp. resident Susanne Green pointed out her school property tax bill had gone up 25 percent in eight years; and the Lackawanna County millage rate was 30 above the next highest district - North Pocono - in the county.
“Something is desperately wrong here,” she said.
Board member Michael Mould who voted for the budget, said his heart went out to the people who spoke passionately against raising taxes.
“We share your concerns. But, we’re also facing pressures on the pension front, cyber charter schools, sharply rising special education costs and inadequate state funding,” he said. “It’s not lost on me that we still have a lot of work to do.”