Hampton school district officials predict small tax hike
Hampton Township School District officials are predicting the need for a small increase in the property-tax rate to balance the 2014-15 school year budget as they begin the early stages of the budgetary process.
The $45.8 million proposed preliminary budget is a 4.35 percent increase over the 2013-14 budget and has a projected net shortfall of $1.2 million.
The school board is considering closing the gap by using $573,000 of the Public School Employees' Retirement System, or PSERS, stabilization fund it created to help offset Hampton's annual contribution rate through the 2025-26 school year; $143,781 of the unreserved fund balance; and a tax-rate increase of 0.3 of a mill.
The current rate is 17.59 mills and equals a tax bill of $1,759 for a resident with a home assessed at $100,000 or $3,518 for a resident with a home assessed at $200,000.
The proposed increase would result in an additional $30 for a resident with a home assessed at $100,000 or $60 for a resident with a home assessed at $200,000.
While Hampton officials anticipate the budget to change over the next six months, administrators were confident enough to recommend accepting the Act 1 index.
The school board was scheduled to vote on a resolution Jan. 13 not to exceed the Act 1 index, which establishes the maximum tax increase allowable for each school district without applying for an exception from the state Department of Education or seeking voter approval.
This year's index is 2.5 percent, which would cap the increase in the district's tax rate at 0.439 of a mill.
School board members expressed concern over several factors that could dramatically influence the 2014-15 budget, including health-insurance rates, staffing needs, and department and building budgets, all of which have not been finalized. The state preliminary education budget also will not be released until mid-February.
When asked if the total budgetary shortfall might be whittled down in the coming months, Superintendent John Hoover did not express certainty.
“At this point, I wouldn't be confident to say we can chip it away to zero,” Hoover said.
A preliminary budget will be approved by the Hampton school board in May and a final budget will be approved by June 30.
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or 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.
- Franklin Park woman honored by Lupus Foundation
- NA grad formulates bath, beauty products with natural ingredients
- North Hills grad earns ‘principal of the year’ honor
- Drone to help Northern Regional police zone in on missing, fleeing people
- Cala Lily Cafe gets new life, location
- Storytelling festival events set for 2 Hampton sites
- Wexford Health-hosted program to raise awareness of food allergies
- Bridge work to close Little Pine Creek Road in Shaler
- Northgate Church members lead mission trip to help poor in West Virginia
- Zelienople-based skateboard business starting to take off
- Richland Community Day promises smorgasbord of action