Brentwood school board reluctantly approves tax hike
Brentwood Borough School Board members said they hope state leaders will increase education funding soon so they don't have to keep going back to the local taxpayers.
Board members on Monday, in an 8-1 vote, approved the district's 2014-15 budget that includes a 2.02-mill property-tax-rate increase, setting the millage rate for next school year at 26.8259.
Board member Sarah Komlenic dissented.
The final budget — which includes $20.1 million in revenue and $22.3 million in expenses — uses $2.2 million from the district's fund balance to balance the budget.
“Sooner or later, someone has to step up. We can't expect our taxpayers to continually do it,” board President Robert Kircher said. “We're not alone in this.”
The Brentwood Borough School District now receives $750,000 less than in state subsidies than it did several years ago, yet salaries and pension contributions have increased by more than that, board members said.
“We've resisted this for a number of years,” board member Richard Briner said.
Yet, with revenues and expenses being unequal, along with a dwindling fund balance, board members said it was time to bite the bullet.
“At this rate, we'll be out of money at this time (the following) year,” Kircher said.
The district has $5.8 million in a fund-balance account, or reserve account, but officials plan to use some of that money to balance the 2013-14 budget. That account is projected to have a little more than $4 million by the end of June.
One mill in Brentwood brings in about $370,490, based on a 93.6-percent collection rate. The millage increase will cost owner of a home with district's median assessment of $83,400 an extra $168 a year.
The millage hike provides an additional $275,684 to the district for increasing the tax rate by the state-issued index of 3 percent and an additional $473,266 for exceptions to state limits in order to pay for special-education and retirement costs .
Under Act 1 — the state legislation that distributes gambling revenue to districts — the state limits how much school boards can raise the tax rate each year without getting exceptions or going to the voters.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com.
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.
- Former councilman files lawsuit against Baldwin Borough leaders
- Baldwin Community Day to have something for everyone
- Overgrown trees leave Brentwood residents frustrated
- Baldwin Borough woman awarded $5K for damages to apartment
- Pleasant Hills family’s beach vacation takes tragic turn
- MRTSA staff able to train the ‘smart’ way with simulator
- Brentwood’s Noctis racing team makes final push for trip
- Baldwin settles lawsuit for $7,500
- Brentwood will honor Baldwin Borough pool passes