Slight tax increase proposed in Norwin
Property taxes could climb by less than 1 mill in the Norwin School District.
The district's 2013-14 $61.4 million preliminary budget, which the board unanimously approved on Monday, requires an increase of .65 of a mill, and approximately $554,000 from the district's general fund, to be considered balanced, according to John Wilson, director of business affairs.
The preliminary budget, which is an increase of approximately 5 percent compared to the 2012-13 $58.9 million spending plan, brings the millage rate to 68.1, which includes 1.2 mills levied for the Norwin Public Library.
The district's last tax increase was during the 2012-13 budget cycle, when the board raised property taxes by 1.45 mills.
The average assessed value of a home in Westmoreland County in the Norwin School District is approximately $22,500, Wilson said. Under the new millage, the tax bill for a home with an average assessed value will increase by $14.62, to $1,554.75, Wilson said.
Wilson said the budget's projected revenue sits at $60 million, while expenses are at $61.4 million, without the use of the fund balance.
An inflated contribution to the state retirement system accounted for the largest budget increase, which was $1.3 million, Wilson said.
Wilson said the projected fund balance is $4.05 million as of June 30, and it's expected to rise to $4.27 million at the end of the 2013-14 school year.
Although administrators plan to continue whittling down the projected expenses, Wilson said he does not expect to negate the tax increase. Instead, officials hope to decrease the amount of fund balance necessary to balance the budget, he said.
The $554,000 from the district's general fund accounts for approximately 1.5 mills of taxes, Wilson said.
“That makes us uncomfortable,” Wilson said. “We're looking for some additional revenues and to cut more expenditures.”
Ultimately, Wilson said he hopes to reduce the general fund contribution to $250,000.
Over the next several weeks, Wilson said officials expect to see a decrease in workers' compensation insurance premiums because of a lack of any claims filed over several years. He also expects to look into reworking leases on copier machines and filing real estate tax appeals on several commercial properties.
Although the district does not anticipate any furloughs, Wilson said administrators do not plan to fill three teaching positions, which are vacant because of retirements.
School board president Robert Perkins said officials plan to continue working toward reducing costs, but also would like to avoid cutting educational programming. Eventually, the district may have to look into cutting back on programming next year, he said.
“We have worked hard to reduce costs without hurting the quality of education,” Perkins said. “But if these trends continue, we will face the difficult choice of cutting educational programs.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 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.
- Greensburg pit bull advocacy group plans fundraiser in Homestead
- Elizabeth Forward marks 35th year of senior holiday breakfast
- Polka musician ‘Mr. December’ bringing his fiddle to McKeesport lodge
- Clairton students reference positive ‘Frozen’-themed lessons
- McKeesport Area fourth-grader thrilled with gift from White Oak Lions Club
- Executive says Century III revival plan remains on track
- West Mifflin soccer fields nearly done, but play will be delayed
- Brass plaque stolen from McKeesport veterans memorial
- Jamie’s Dream Team founder says she will press on despite new illness
- McKeesport man sentenced to house arrest in armed robbery
- Sentence reduced in triple Crawford Village homicide