Burrell School Board plans tax increase
Burrell School Board's preliminary budget for the 2013-14 school year would hike real estate taxes by about 2 percent.
The board this month passed a tentative $27.1 million spending plan, which is an increase of just over $1 million, or almost 4 percent, from the current school year's budget, according to Business Manager Jennifer Callahan.
She said rising retirement costs contributed to about half of the increase; contractual employee raises also were a factor.
Under the proposal, taxes would go from 85.4 mills this school year to 87.2 mills.
The board is expected to finalize the 2013-14 budget June 18.
The preliminary budget was approved last week in a 6-0 vote. Directors Scott Fisher, Deb Kinosz and Tami Kelly were absent.
Although he approved the preliminary budget, board President Tom Klebine at Tuesday's meeting indicated he'd have a hard time approving a final budget that includes a tax increase.
“It tears me up. Every year we raise taxes a little more,” he said. “I don't see how we can sustain this.”
Klebine noted the board is considering policies that may ask community groups to cover more of the costs when they use district facilities and might require student groups to assume some of the cost of traveling to state and national competitions.
“I can't raise taxes and give everyone a pay raise,” he said.
He and Linda Woiewodski, the two no votes a year ago on the 2012-13 budget that increased taxes, both referenced their disapproval of the early-bird teacher contract that was approved in 2010 and extends until 2016.
The contract offered average annual raises of about 4 percent; however, all district employees agreed to a wage freeze during the 2011-12 school year.
Fisher said he is concerned about whether state legislators will continue to fiddle with the amount of money contributed to the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), which funds teacher pensions.
Fisher encouraged residents to ask their legislators to ensure the retirement system remains fully funded. “You can't keep kicking this can down the road,” he said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 724-226-4680 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- ‘It Takes a Village’ strives to connect New Kensington residents with resources
- Kiski Valley Water Pollution Control Authority communities near completion of sewer projects
- Penn’s Colony Festival offers custom-made items, history of the region
- Former drug dealer, addict give away groceries as part of New Kensington church’s outreach
- O’Hara Scout’s kiosk to tell brave woman’s tale
- Electricity rates expected to increase this winter
- Alligator spotted along the banks of the Allegheny River in Cheswick
- Plum woman dies in Washington Township crash
- Beaver footprints found along Allegheny River bank, not gator
- Police chase ends with shooting in Bell Township; suspect wounded
- Rayburn man, 74, dies in Manor Township crash