Freeport Area School District to consider 2 percent tax hike
Wednesday's vote on next school year's budget promises to be a close one.
The Freeport Area School Board will consider final adoption of a nearly $25 million spending plan that calls for a 2 percent property tax increase.
Because the district crosses county lines, the actual amount of the tax hike will be different in Armstong and Butler counties.
The average Buffalo Township property owner will pay $50 a year more while an average homeowner in Freeport or South Buffalo will pay $37 more.
One board faction favors the tax increase to offset anticipated increases over the next three years when the board must borrow money to build a new junior high school.
Another faction, led by board President Mark Shoaf, favors using a fund balance that could total as much as $600,000 instead of raising taxes to have $200,000 more to spend next school year .
"I don't want to ask the people for more money until we need it," Shoaf said.
Board member Michael Huth believes a tax increase now might reduce even larger possible increases anticipated over each of the next three school years.
Wednesday is the last scheduled board meeting before the June 30 deadline to pass a budget.
In other business
• Five new teachers are expected to be hired on Wednesday, replacing retiring teachers.
• The board also will consider three measures to recommend to the state Legislature via the Pennsylvania School Boards Association.
One would mandate that state fund 61.9 percent of school districts as prescribed by a 1974 law. State funding now is about 41.5 percent.
A second would be for the state to subsidize retirement funds by 50 percent over the next several years.
A third measure would demand the state reimburse districts for increased transportation costs.
• On Wednesday, the school board will look to transfer as much as $1 million from the capital reserve fund to repair the roof at the district's aging junior high school building.
The current roof, installed in 1985, is near the end of its usable life, according to Business Manager William Reilly.
The roof consists of about 1,600 square feet.
Comments about this story can be sent to email@example.com.
About the tax hike
Here's how taxes would change on a house in Freeport or South Buffalo with an average assessed value of $30,500:
Old tax rate: 52.3 mills
New tax rate: 53.5 mills
Old tax bill: $1,595
New tax bill: $1,632
Tax increase: $37
Here's how taxes would change on a Buffalo Township house with an average assessed value of $20,000:
Old tax rate: 121.6 mills
New tax rate: 124.1 mills
Old tax bill: $2,432
New tax bill: $2,482
Tax increase: $50
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.