Allegheny Valley's preliminary school budget calls for 0.41-mill tax increase
Real estate taxes in the Allegheny Valley School District are projected to increase by about 2 percent to cover a more than $266,000 shortfall in the district's 2014-15 budget.
Business Manager Brad Rau gave the school board an update on the district's preliminary budget on Tuesday.
As written, the district would spend about $20.2 million in the coming school year, an increase of 2.7 percent from this school year. Revenue is projected to increase only 1.4 percent to about $19.9 million.
The proposed 0.4-mill tax increase to cover the gap is near the district's state-imposed limit of 0.41-mill, or 2.1 percent.
The budget includes three new staff positions — a special education director, who would start in the second semester of the school year; a technology education coordinator; and a speech and gifted enrichment teacher.
The cost of the technology coordinator would be paid for with a grant.
There are no other staff changes in the budget, Rau said.
With the new positions included, the district's total salary cost would increase by about 2.3 percent to $8.7 million. Benefits would rise by 12.6 percent to $4.8 million.
The district's retirement cost will rise by 30 percent, from about $1.4 million to $1.9 million. The state will give the district $200,000 toward that cost, for a total of about $922,000.
Funding from the state totals about $5.2 million, an increase of about 5 percent from just under $5 million for this school year.
Basic education funding from the state is unchanged at $2.3 million. The district will receive an additional $98,000, for a total of almost $140,000, from the state's Accountability Block and Ready to Learn grants.
In local revenue, the district is projecting a 22 percent increase in earned income taxes, to close to $900,000. Rau said this is due to the new collection system through which employers now withhold the tax.
Administrators are continuing to work on the spending plan, Superintendent Cheryl Griffith said.
The school board is scheduled to vote on passing the preliminary budget on May 13. A vote on passing the final budget would be on June 16.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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