Education

York school district mulls tax increase, teacher raises in $49M budget

Thousands of teachers march to SC State House

South Carolina teachers, students and advocates marched to the State House to call on lawmakers to increase their pay and approve reforms that improve the state’s public schools.
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South Carolina teachers, students and advocates marched to the State House to call on lawmakers to increase their pay and approve reforms that improve the state’s public schools.

The York school district is considering a tax increase and teacher pay raises in its proposed $49 million 2019-2020 budget.

A public hearing will be 6 p.m. June 11 at the district office, 1475 East Liberty Street.

The tax increase will amount to $42 more in taxes each year on a $100,000 business, said Tim Cooper, district spokesperson.

Tax increases apply only to businesses, non-owner occupied homes and rental properties.

Act 388, South Carolina’s property tax reform measure, replaced tax on primary homes with a one-time sales tax increase on retail purchases to support school operations. Act 388 has led to a loss of revenue for public schools.

Public school districts are not fully funded from the state. Under state law, the base student cost should be $3,095 for 2019-20, The Herald previously reported. The state has set the base student cost at $2,487.

York school district employees will see raises next school year.

South Carolina lawmakers gave final approval earlier this month to a $9.3 billion state budget that includes a 4% pay raise for teachers and sets the starting teacher salary at $35,000, reports The State newspaper. Gov. Henry McMaster still needs to sign the budget into law.

York will receive $1 million from the state to help fund the 4% teacher raise and increase in starting pay, Cooper said. The district will spend $200,000 for teacher salary increases.

York’s preliminary budget also includes a 4% raise and step salary increases for other employees, according to the district. Employee salaries and benefits are 86.1% of the budget.

York’s budget is funded with $34 million from the state, or 68.9%, and $15.3 million in local revenue, Cooper said.

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Amanda Harris covers issues related to children and families in York, Chester and Lancaster County for The Herald. Amanda works with local schools, parents and community members to address important topics such as school security, mental health and the opioid epidemic. She graduated from Winthrop University.

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