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Hampton school officials approve budget, tax hike

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Deborah Deasy | Hampton Journal

Hampton Township property owners will see a real estate tax increase for 2014-15.

The Hampton Township School District school board unanimously approved the $45.6 million budget with a 1.48 percent tax increase.

The increase will bring the property tax rate from 17.59 mills to 17.85 mills, which equals a bill of $2,864.93 for the median residential assessed value of $160,500 in Hampton, a $40.73 increase above the current tax rate.

“I'm never in favor of a tax increase … it seems to be the wise thing to do,” said Robert Shages, school board member.

Officials balanced the projected spending plan by using $573,000 from the Public School Employees' Retirement System Stabilization Fund. District officials created the fund to help offset Hampton's annual contribution rate through the 2025-26 school year, and a 0.26 mill tax increase.

The majority of the $1.7 million budget increase — about $1.12 million — is due to the increased contribution rate to PSERS. The district's required contribution to the PSERS fund increases from 16.93 to 21.4 percent of wages for the 2014-15 school year.

In addition, the budget has increases to salaries, health insurance costs and the A.W. Beattie Career Center contribution.

The budget also includes a reduction of $233,000 for two instructional and two paraprofessional positions. The positions might be eliminated at the beginning of 2014-15 school year due to low enrollment.

District officials put half of the total, $120,000, into a reserve fund, which will enable administrators to monitor enrollment over the summer and add a teacher or paraprofessional position if enrollment increases before the start of school.

Superintendent John Hoover said there are a number of elementary classrooms that are at capacity of the district's cap; however, there is room in other school buildings for newly enrolled students.

“I think we will be OK with current staffing,” Hoover said.

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

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