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South Butler School District considers tax increase

| Thursday, May 8, 2014, 12:46 a.m.

Property owners in the South Butler School District are looking at a possible 2.1 percent real estate tax increase for next school year.

The school board will vote Wednesday on a proposed $35.6 million budget that calls for a tax hike of about $42 per year for the average household.

The budget for the current school year is $33.2 million.

Tax millage is 93.275 mills.

Officials blamed a 21 percent, state-mandated increase in the public school retirement system contributions for the bulk of the increase. That amounts to $1.5 million more for the retirement fund.

An $95,500 increase in legal services (4.3 percent) is budgeted because of new teacher contract negotiations.

Transportation costs will be increased 7.6 percent, or $200,000, with the need to carry students to the new North Catholic High School in Cranberry.

In an effort to cut costs, six of the 12 teachers retiring won't be replaced, the administrators' salaries will be frozen and substitute teachers for 2014-15 will be staffed by the Kelly Agency.

Business manager Debbie Brandstetter praised Berkheimer and Associates for increasing the amount of wage tax collected from school district residents.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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