Bettsville Local School District voters rejected a five-year, 1-percent income tax renewal for operating expenses Tuesday.
According to unofficial totals, 272 voters approved the levy and 276 voters rejected it.
"The community is outstanding and supportive," said Superintendent Gregg Pettit.
"It is back to the drawing board and we will continue to educate our students," he said.
Being new to the board, "I didn't know what to expect," Pettit said.
The tax has been renewed every five years since 1994 and generates about $220,000 annually, said Roger Luhring, the district's treasurer.
The money would be used for expenses such as payroll and textbooks.
The district's operating budget is $3.2 million, he said.
The current tax doesn't expire until next year. Historically, the district has put the request on the ballot a year early, so if it didn't pass, it would have another opportunity to put it on the ballot again, Luhring said.
Luhring said if the levy didn't pass, the district would put it on the next available ballot. If it doesn't pass the second time, the district would have to make severe cuts, he said.