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Kiski lowers tax increase for most communities

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About the tax hike

The average assessed value on a house in Westmoreland County is $16,692, according to Kiski Area officials. Here's what the 2012-13 tax bill would look like for such a property:

Old tax rate: 82.01 mills

New tax rate: 82.78 mills

Old tax bill: $1,369

New tax bill: $1,382

Tax increase: $13

The average assessed value on a house in Armstrong County is $22,760, according to Kiski Area officials. Here's what the 2012-13 tax bill would look like for such a property:

Old tax rate: 42.01 mills

New tax rate: 40.73 mills

Old tax bill: $956

New tax bill: $927

Tax decrease: $29

Coming up

Who: Kiski Area School Board

What: Vote to pass 2012-13 budget and tax rates

When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday

Where: Administration center board room, Hyde Park Road, Allegheny Township

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, June 14, 2012, 7:02 a.m.
 

Kiski Area School District officials have lowered the property-tax increase that most communities will realize in the 2012-13 school year budget.

Because Kiski Area crosses county lines, the change means a lower tax increase than expected in Westmoreland County and a larger tax cut in Armstrong County.

For the district's Westmoreland County communities, the tax increase has been lowered from 2.3 percent discussed earlier to about 1 percent.

In Parks Township, the district's only Armstrong County community, property owners would see a 3 percent reduction. That's up from an earlier projection of a 1.7 percent reduction.

The rates will become solid when the board votes on the tax rates and the district's $50.7 million spending plan on Wednesday.

Business Manager Peggy Gillespie said that after a number of adjustments, expected spending next school year has been lowered by about $220,000.

Still, spending for 2012-13 remains $400,0000 more than the $50.3 million budget passed last June for the 2011-12 school year that's just ending.

The district's revenue for 2012-13 is estimated to be about $47.7 million. The $3 million deficit would be covered from district reserves.

The district would have about $3.9 million in its reserves for the start of the 2013-14 school year, Gillespie said.

Smaller pay hikes coming

Agreements with technology services staff and confidential secretaries will provide pay increases lower than they have received in the past.

If approved next week, the three technology services staff members each would get annual pay increases of $1,500 for the next two years. Those increases have ranged between $2,100 and $2,300, Gillespie said.

Three confidential secretaries also would get $1,500 annual pay increases each for the next four years, down from $1,850, Gillespie said.

The employees also would have higher health care contributions. Details were not immediately available.

An amendment to an agreement covering administrators would set starting salaries for new hires based on experience and spell out how long it would take to reach the top of the salary scale.

Starting salaries now vary from candidate to candidate, based on negotiations, Superintendent John Meighan said.

If approved, the amendment would result in salary adjustments for some recently hired employees, Meighan said.

The effect would be to increase their pay for next school year, he said.

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