Burlington School Budget Proposal Means Higher Taxes

Published 01/13 2014 10:29PM

Updated 01/13 2014 10:45PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Property taxes could be going up in Burlington.

That's because the Burlington School District says it needs more money to balance next year's school budget.

From those concerned about money to those worried about programs, people spoke to representatives of the Burlington School District Monday.
Even some Burlington city councilors had concerns.

"When this budget came out, my inbox got hit pretty quickly," says Councilor Chip Mason, D-Burlington.

Mason says he heard a lot of people were concerned about property taxes going up 14-percent. That works out to an increase of $214 a year on a every $100,000 of a home's value.

The district says that's because costs are going up including for staff. Teachers are getting a raise of 11-percent over the next three years.

"We were having a hard time explaing to our teachers why we didn't respect them or value them in a community that values education," says Keith Pillsbury, Burlington School Board finance chair.

The district says it's also has to provide more for students who need more help and there's less federal money to do that.

"I know we're in really, really tough financial situations," says Jeanne Collins, Burlington School District superintendent.

The school board will vote on the budget Tuesday. If it passes, it will go on the March ballot.

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