Albion school budget doesn’t increase taxes – again

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 May 2024 at 9:25 am

4 candidates seek 2 spots on the Board of Education

ALBION – The school district once again won’t be increasing the tax levy. Albion’s proposed $42,320,666 budget for 2024-25 keeps the tax levy at $8,449,039. This is now the 16th time in the past 18 years that taxes have either stayed the same or decreased.

Albion’s budget is $323,436 under the allowable tax cap of $8,772,476.

“Our priority, first and foremost, is providing a well-rounded education for each child in our community,” Board of Education President Wayne Wadhams said in a budget message on the district website. “Due to our history of conservative financial planning, we will continue to propose a tax levy with a zero percent increase while remaining committed to the development and promotion of good character and qualities that future citizens must possess.”

The budget vote will be from noon to 8 p.m. on May 21 and will be held at the Hoag Library instead of the at the school district’s conference room. The district currently is working on construction projects and district superintendent Mickey Edwards said the shift to Hoag Library for the vote should “ensure a seamless voting process for the community.”

(The annual art show for the district will also be on display at Hoag Library. The FFA barbecue will remain at the high school so the food can be kept at the proper temperatures.)

School officials will discuss the budget and propositions during a hearing on May 14 at 6 p.m. in Albion High School’s LGI.

The total spending in the budget is $42,320,666, an increase of $505,819 or 1.2 percent. The 1.2 percent increase matches what the district could have in a contingency budget.

State aid remains the district’s biggest source of funding at $32,774,455, up from $32,473,385 in 2023-24. State aid accounts for 77.4 percent of the Albion budget.

Voters will also see a separate proposition to make bus purchases up to $650,000 from reserve funds, and a proposition also to establish a capital improvement reserve fund for up to $15 million.

There also is a proposition to collect $664,510 for Hoag Library, which is up 1.5 percent from the $654,100 in 2023-24.

There are two seats up for election. Long-time board member David Sidari isn’t seeking re-election. Linda Weller, a current member, is seeking another five-year term. She is joined on the ballot by Tim McMurray, Derek Reiner and Kelly Kirby.