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Brandywine School District to go to referendum for 45 cent tax increase

Delaware Public Media

The Brandywine School District will vote on final details for its upcoming referendum next week.

The plan before the Brandywine School Board seeks to raise property taxes by a total of 45 cents per $100 of assessed value – either all in one year or spread out over two or three years.

Public Information Officer Bill O’Hanlon says the board is leaning towards a two-year plan, a 25-cent increase in year one and 20 cents in year two.

“If we did the 25/20, our projected balance at the end of fiscal year ‘24 would be 5.9 [million], fiscal year 25 our projected balance would be 6.9 mil, and fiscal year 26 9.7 mil,” O'Hanlon says.

But O’Hanlon notes with expenditures, the district is projected to be back to negative balances by 2028.

Brandywine’s last referendum was in 2016 when a 28-cent tax increase was approved to bolster the district's operating budget and greenlight a slate of capital projects.

O’Hanlon says there are no capital projects this time. The district is just trying to keep up with operating costs as the student population grows and the teacher shortage worsens.

He adds they also want to bolster safety and security by hiring more constables, and they need technology upgrades like new Chromebooks for students.

Rachel Sawicki was born and raised in Camden, Delaware and attended the Caesar Rodney School District. They graduated from the University of Delaware in 2021 with a double degree in Communications and English and as a leader in the Student Television Network, WVUD and The Review.