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Tax drop dependent on reassessment in Baldwin-Whitehall

| Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Some Baldwin-Whitehall School District residents could pay less in property taxes for 2013-14 because of a planned millage rate reduction.

How the proposed change will affect each property owner will depend on individual reassessment numbers, said Mark Cherpak the district's business manager. β€œIt's going to just depend on how their property increased in value or decreased in value,” he said.

School board members unanimously approved a $60.3 million preliminary budget last week that drops the district's real estate tax rate from 23.4 mills to 19.2.

Property assessments in Baldwin-Whitehall increased about 24 percent during last year's countywide reassessment, bringing the districtwide total to about $1.9 billion.

Baldwin-Whitehall officials were required by state law to lower the tax rate to balance the increase in assessments that came this year as a result of court-ordered reassessments.

The school district will be able to preserve its savings and still balance this year's budget with the help of a 3.5-percent increase in state subsidies coming to about $240,000 and a 20- to 25-percent increase in earned income tax revenue, which will bring the school district an additional $600,000 to $800,000, Cherpak said.

The numbers in the preliminary budget still could change for the final passage that will take place at the June 12 meeting but, Cherpak said, they might not change much despite the fact that at the beginning of March there was still about $68 million in assessed values that were under appeal.

β€œI don't think it will be a significant change,” Cherpak said.

Any other appeals to the budget will be reviewed, as well, but should not cause any major shifts with what has been proposed, he said.

Cherpak plans to present information on the budget at the school board's agenda meeting at 7:30 p.m. on June 5 in the board room at the Baldwin-Whitehall administration building, 4900 Curry Road.

The presentation will provide information on the budget, including all the changes. Residents' questions also will be addressed.

Matthew DeFusco is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2311 or mdefusco@tribweb.com.

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