A budget is an important commitment between educators and the greater Barre school community. The BUUSD School Board and Administration took a careful look at the budget being presented to voters on May 11th in order to reduce expenses while providing needed services to our students. The proposed budget of $46,777,954 shows an overall expense increase of $1,747,986 or 3.8%. Per pupil spending in Barre will rise by 3.41% to $15,554.
In order to arrive at this proposed budget, we found savings in transportation expenses, health insurance, and supplies. We also applied funds from our audited tax stabilization fund to increase revenue. We project a substantial fund balance from this school year which can be used to replenish our tax stabilization fund. Lastly, we used COVID-19 grants (ESSER Funds) to pay for a portion of our expenses.
The School Board and Administration made these sound decisions with an eye towards keeping tax rates reasonable. The projected homestead tax rate for voters in Barre City is 1.4386, which is an increase of 2 cents. The projected homestead tax rate for voters in Barre Town, after the recent reappraisal, will be 1.3662. This is a decrease of 27 cents.
In addition, approximately 63% of Barre homeowners will receive tax assistance in 2021 from Vermont Property Tax Credit. Vermont Property Tax Credit is a form of tax assistance that allows homeowners to pay property taxes based on their income, rather than the value of their home. Voters are encouraged to use the Vermont Department of Taxes 2021 Property Tax Credit Calculator to estimate the credit amount that will be applied to your property tax bill.
As you review the budget information on this webpage, I ask that you keep our students in mind as we have. This budget is an investment in our students and the future of Barre. We have always been resourceful as we offer a high-quality education to Barre students. Now more than ever, we will need all of our teachers and all of our resources to help our students realize a strong recovery from this pandemic. When you hear the stories of our students through the #iamBarre campaign, you will see how much your support means to our students and their success.