LEHMAN TWP. — The Lake-Lehman School Board passed a $32.4 million dollar budget that included a 4 percent tax hike by an 8-1 vote.
Marilyn Glogowski, Kevin Carey, David Paulauskas, Alfred DeAngelis, John McDonald, Andrew Salko, Lorraine Farrel and Robert Wright voted for the budget and tax increase.
Karen Masters voted against the plan.
The budget will increase taxes for residents in Luzerne and Wyoming counties, said district Business Manager Thomas Malone.
Luzerne County residents in Harveys Lake Borough, Jackson, Lake, Ross and Lehman townships will receive a 4.06 percent increase, which will raise their mill rate to 11.0345 mills, Malone said.
Taxes on a home assessed at $150,000 would be an additional $64.48, Malone said.
A mill is a $1 tax on every $1,000 of assessed property value.
District families in Noxen will have a 4 percent increase, resulting in a rate of 56.6897 mills.
Taxes on a property assessed at $10,000 would result in an additional tax of $30.58, Malone said.
The increases are driven by the rising costs of health care, salaries and early retirement benefits, Malone said.
“Seventy-five percent of the operating budget is salary and benefits,” he said.
The budget also contains a $225,000 allotment for new security features for all four school buildings that include Lehman-Jackson, Ross and Lake-Noxen elementary schools and Lake-Lehman Junior-Senior High School.
In April, the board discussed a variety of new security enhancements, such as applying polyester-based film to reinforce windows and prevent shattering due to a gun shot as well as a magnetic door securing system.
The next school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 16 in the library of the Lake-Lehman Junior-Senior High School.