Palmerton Area School District continues to zero in on next year's spending plan.

The school board's Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday met one final time to review the 2010-11 budget.

Salary and benefits, grants and revenues were among the sections of the budget the committee honed in on.

Salaries and benefits are set to increase by $229,133, from $15,205,016 in 2009-10 to $15,434,149 in 2010-11.

Meanwhile, the amount of grants the district will receive will decrease by $46,448, from $1,187,527 in 09-10 to $1,141,079 in 10-11.

The district's total revenue will increase by $199,222, from $24,474,954 in 09-10 to $24,674,176 in 10-11.

As of now, total expenditures come in at $26,550,265 in 10-11, up $1,061,672 from the $25,488,593 spending plan.

That leaves a difference of $1,876,089, which business manager Lisa Vignone said could be made up through a combination of budget cuts/reduction in expenditures, or a reduction in the fund balance.

While no budget has yet to be approved, Vignone said the maximum the board can raise the property tax rate is 1.64 mills.

Such a scenario would increase the millage rate from 42 to 43.64 mills, 4.17 percent.

That would mean a person with a home valued at $100,000, and assessed at $50,000, would pay $2,182 in property taxes to the district next year, $82 more than this year's $2,100 rate.

Vignone said a preliminary budget will be listed on the agenda at the board's May 11 meeting. Final adoption is expected at the board's June 15 meeting.

Previously, the committee met with each of its building principals, as well as its technology, special education, human resources, and curriculum and instruction directors.

Last year, the district adopted a budget for the 2009-10 school year that called for a 2.44 percent, or 1 mill, increase.

The $25,488,593 spending plan raised the millage rate from 41 to 42 mills. That meant a person who owned a $100,000 home, which was assessed at $50,000, paid $2,100, or $50 more, to the district in property taxes.

Prior to that, the last time the district raised property taxes was in the 2007-08 school year, when it passed a budget with a 2.5 percent increase.