Sheffield declares school budget rise is ‘irresponsible’

(Photo by Hannah Shirley) SBRSD school committee meeting last month.

SHEFFIELD — Town officials were shocked to see a 3.8-percent increase in the preliminary Southern Berkshire Regional School District budget, said Town Administrator Rhonda LaBombard.

The proposed budget would result in a $164,168 increase for the town of Sheffield and a 27- cent increase to the town’s current tax rate, for an overall tax rate of $15.81 per $1,000.

The town’s apportionment to the school committee currently makes up 67 percent of Sheffield’s overall budget, with $10.60 of their current tax rate going to the district, said LaBombard.

“This portion of the district’s assessment compared to the municipal budget has become untenable,” she said, reading from a letter to be sent to the school committee. “Our board and committee members were shocked to see such a large increase again this year, especially since Sheffield shouldered a huge increase last year. The Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee view these significant back-to-back increases as fiscally irresponsible and for the town to support and we are unable to justify them to residents.”

LaBombard, with the support of the select board and finance committee, said the town will ask the school committee to reduce the budget from their preliminary estimate.

The proposed budget would result in a $164,168 increase for the town of Sheffield and a 27- cent increase to the town’s current tax rate, for an overall tax rate of $15.81 per $1,000.

The town’s apportionment to the school committee currently makes up 67 percent of Sheffield’s overall budget, with $10.60 of their current tax rate going to the district, said LaBombard.

“This portion of the district’s assessment compared to the municipal budget has become untenable,” she said, reading from a letter to be sent to the school committee. “Our board and committee members were shocked to see such a large increase again this year, especially since Sheffield shouldered a huge increase last year. The Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee view these significant back-to-back increases as fiscally irresponsible and for the town to support and we are unable to justify them to residents.”

LaBombard, with the support of the select board and finance committee, said the town will ask the school committee to reduce the budget from their preliminary estimate.

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