Share This Page

Hampton school budget plan calls for small tax rate hike

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Hampton Township School District school officials approved the proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year last week with an adjusted tax rate and slight millage increase.

School districts across the county are required to “reset” their tax rate to a revenue neutral millage to avoid a windfall of revenue from the county-wide reassessment, which for Hampton Township means a decrease from 21.35 mills to 17.27 mills.

The school district's $43.9 million budget currently includes a $661,675 deficit, which school board members voted to close by using $418,000 of the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) stabilization fund and a 0.16 mill increase over the adjusted 17.27 millage.

The proposed tax rate of 17.43 mills would equal a tax bill of $1,743 for a resident with a home assessed at $100,000, and $3,486 for a resident with a home assessed at $200,000.

“More people's taxes will increase or decrease because of the assessment and not our increase,” said Jeff Kline, director of administrative services, of the less than 1 percent tax rate increase.

The school district would have had an overall budget decrease of $34,600 in part due to 19 employees taking advantage of an early retirement incentive and salary freezes in several of the district's collective bargaining agreements.

However, several costs increased, including the PSERS contribution rate, which increased by $960,000, an increase from 12.36 percent of payroll to 16.93 percent, and an anticipated 52 percent decrease in special education ACCESS funds, equal to $260,000, which the district now will have to fund.

School board president David Gurwin said district officials still have time to adjust the budgetary numbers before the board is required to vote on the final budget in June, which might be necessary because there still are 282 residential and commercial assessment appeals pending in Hampton Township that would affect the district's “revenue neutral” millage adjustment.

“The number may change slightly from this month to next month, but it's ball park,” Gurwin said.

Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or bhofstetter@tribweb.com.

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.