Riverview School District taxes to increase 2.5 percent
Riverview School District property owners will pay 2.5 percent more in real estate taxes next school year.
A property owner in Oakmont or Verona with the district's median home value of $134,000 would pay about $73 more in real estate taxes.
The board voted 8-0 Monday night to approve the districts' final 2017-18 budget with a 0.5611-mill tax hike. That sets next year's millage rate at 23.0073.
The current tax rate is 22.4462 mills.
Business Manager Tammy Good said the tax hike was unavoidable largely due to pension increases.
“Our expenditures are beginning to outpace our revenues, and it will continue,” Good said.
The tax hike is expected to generate $320,000 for the district.
The district's last tax increase, for the 2014-15 school year, was 1.27 mills.
Finance committee co-chairman John Hackworth said the district was able to stave off raising taxes the past two years because of an $800,000 increase in delinquent tax revenue collection.
He said the district does not anticipate something like that happening with the new budget.
“It's been a much more difficult year for the board,” Hackworth said. “The future is going to be challenging for us.”
Budget documents list next year's revenues at close to $22.3 million and expenditures at just under $23.2 million, which is about a $900,000 shortfall.
Board members said the operating budget is actually balanced, and the deficit on paper represents capital improvement spending to be covered by the district's reserve fund.
Board member Lisa Ashbaugh was absent.
The budget does not include any furloughs.
It does eliminate a high school geography class. No other program cuts are in the budget.
Board member Alex DiClaudio said geography was a duplicated class because it was already incorporated into other social studies courses.
The district has 95 teachers and a little less than 1,000 students.
Board member Arlene Loeffler encouraged residents to contact their state legislators to push for pension and charter school reform, as well as increase education funding.
“We're not the only school having problems, and I think they have to hear it from the people who voted for them,” Loeffler said.