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North Allegheny's 2014-15 budget holds tax rate

| Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 8:20 p.m.

There is no tax increase in the North Allegheny School District budget that board members approved Wednesday, despite a $7.3 million deficit in the preliminary budget.

The $139.5 million budget for 2014-15 maintains the tax rate of 17.4039 mills.

School board members Libby Blackburn, Tara Fisher, Chris Jacobs, Kevin Mahler, Ralph Pagone and Scott Russell voted for the budget; Joseph Greenberg, Maureen Grosheider and Thomas Schwartzmier voted against it.

Fisher said she thought there was wiggle room, so a tax increase was not warranted.

“Until we tighten our belts, we need to hold our millage rate and serve the taxpayer,” Fisher said.

To balance the budget, the board cut $3.8 million in facilities projects and $2.7 million in technology spending, which would have paid for the installation of interactive projectors and screens in each classroom.

Those projects will instead be completed in phases, and the board plans to pay for renovations at Bradford Woods and Marshall elementary schools and Marshall Middle School with bonds.

Grosheider believes a tax increase would have put the district in a better financial position.

“Over the next few years it certainly looks like we will be in a negative position in regards to the budget,” she said. “That negative position will only be aggravated by the fact that we're not taking any tax increase this year.”

Kelsey Shea is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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