Rate rising, although taxes may not follow in Highlands
The Highlands School District tax rate is dropping for next school year, but whether actual taxes paid will follow suit is another matter.
The school board on Thursday night reduced the tax rate for the 2013-14 school year by 2.61 mills due to Allegheny County property reassessment. The new rate will be 23.8 mills.
It will help finance a $39.4 million school district budget that the board also approved unanimously Thursday.
District Business Manager Jon Rupert said the district's average residential real estate assessment was $57,000 and the new one is now around $63,000. He said that remains in flux as assessment figures continue to change.
In regard to the actual tax bill, Rupert said, “The average house, based on the (current) numbers alone, is going to be within $15 of last year.”
He said last year, somebody owning a house with an average assessment paid $1,270 in taxes after figuring in the $230 homestead exemption for longtime homeowners.
This school year, the tax bill on that house will be $1,282, Rupert said.
But, overall, he said the increases and decreases in tax bills will vary — some by large margins.
“Some people will drop $1,000 in taxes; others might go up $200,” he said. “It all depends on whether you filed an appeal and won an appeal.”
He said the new tax rate includes a 1.9 percent increase, which is under the 2.5 percent maximum the district could have gone with under state law.
Rupert said it was done primarily to cover any further tax revenue reduction due to successful assessment appeals.
According to Rupert, the district has already seen its districtwide assessment decline by $20 million this year because of appeals. Officials have to figure on a further decline because of the fire that damaged the Heights Plaza Shopping Center.
The new budget is about $2.2 million more than the 2012-13 spending plan, which is equivalent to about a 5.7 percent increase over last school year's $37.2 million budget.
Rupert said the district will use about $1.4 million from its $7 million budget surplus to help cover the 2013-14 budget.
Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or email@example.com.
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.
- End in sight for Route 28 construction
- Harrison fire cause can’t be found
- New Ken-Arnold board asked to mediate between football groups
- Apollo hires 3 part-time police officers
- Early morning fire destroys East Deer home
- Another resignation, another open seat on Cheswick Council
- Saxonburg man jailed for burning boy, 7
- New Kensington-Arnold approves tentative, 3-year contract with teachers
- Apollo-Ridge School District to list tax delinquents on website
- Roaring Run Watershed Association pays fitting tribute to late naturalist Rau
- Deer Lakes teachers authorize strike if contract not reached by Christmas