ShareThis Page
South Hills

Baldwin-Whitehall looks to increase property taxes

| Friday, May 25, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

Baldwin-Whitehall School District property owners could see taxes rise if board members approve next fiscal year's budget in June.

The question that remains, however, is: by how much?

The proposed $67.7 million budget, adopted in May, calls for a 0.47-mill tax hike. This means if a homeowner owns a house valued at $100,000, then their taxes will increase by $47 a year.

The district millage rate would be 20.84 mills. Some board members have discussed raising the millage rate to 0.63 mills, the maximum property tax increased allowed by the state without an exception.

The current district budget is $66.4 million and the board raised taxes that year by .36 mills,

As in previous years, the biggest expenses for the district are salary increases — $575,000 and $350,000 in state-mandated pension obligations. Also, the district pays $350,000 in debt service and $300,000 in special education costs.

Outside of personnel costs, the district is faced with making much-needed upgrades at three of its five schools. A study done by the district's architects, last year found Paynter Elementary was in poor condition, while J.E. Harrison Middle School and McAnnulty Elementary were categorized as fair. Both Whitehall Elementary and Baldwin High School were said to be in good condition.

Superintendent Randal Lutz has said improvements could run as much as $40 million and includes putting a new roof on the middle school and replacing much of its electrical system. The buildings also need to be reconfigured to accommodate a projected growth in enrollment in the district.

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at selliott@tribweb.com, 412-627-9423, or via Twitter at @41Suzanne.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me