The Central York School Board voted 8-1 to approve a preliminary budget that could allow a tax increase higher than the tax cap established by the state.

Central can raise taxes by 2.1 percent without voter approval. But school boards are able to seek exceptions to that cap for expenses beyond their control.

In Central's case, exceptions for special education and retirement costs could allow the board to raise taxes an additional 2.2 percent, for a 4.3 percent tax hike.

The preliminary budget shows expenditures of $78 million, which exceeds the anticipated revenue by about $1.2 million.

Board president Michael Wagner stressed he expects additional cuts to the preliminary budget.

"This is very similar to how we have done things in past years," said Wagner. "This is in no way an indication that we are raising taxes by this amount or raising them at all.

"This just gives us a place to start," he added.

Board member Michael Snyder voted against the motion and the preliminary budget, saying he was disappointed the proposal contains an increase in expenses of about $4 million.

Snyder said he remains unconvinced that providing iPads for all ninth-grade students was an appropriate use of funds.

"I feel slightly misled," said Snyder. "When I approved the technology budget last year, I had no idea this was where the money would be targeted. When we were considering a 1-1 initiative, the entire idea was presented to the board and to the public multiple times. I do not recall a vote."


Board member Timothy Bieber responded the district spends money every year.

"We spend money on technology, the only difference with this year and any other year is that this was a targeted deploy," he added.

Wagner reminded all in attendance the iPad initiative, which provided an iPad for all ninth-grade students to use during the school day, was merely a pilot program and may or may not continue.

"This program will be evaluated, and its continuation will depend in its success," he said.

Central did not raise taxes last year and has a property tax rate of 17.76 mills.

A 2.1 percent tax hike would increase taxes for the owner of a $150,000 property about $56; a 4.3 percent tax hike would increase taxes by about $114.