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Butler Area OKs 2013-14 budget

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Saturday, June 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

Butler Area school board members approved a $94 million budget for the 2013-14 school year.

In a 6-3 vote, they agreed on Monday to a tax increase of 2 mills — from 91.8 to 93.8 mills, according to Cathy Rodgers, the district's business manager.

The increase means that an average homeowner's annual property tax bill of $1,613 would increase by $35, Rodgers said.

Karen Callaghan, James Keffalas and Bill Halle voted against the budget, which is $2.4 million more than last school year's $91.64 million spending package.

Like other school districts, Butler Area has experienced a decrease in what it gets from the state and a sharp increase in health care and retirement costs.

Last year's pension costs for the district totaled $7.2 million, a $1.8 million jump from the previous school year, Rodgers said.

“It will be a similar increase next year. We have tried to cut expenses significantly,” she said.

Next school year's budget includes a $2.1 million savings in salary and benefit expenses that comes from the district's decision not to replace 21 teachers who retired. The district also eliminated a tax administrator position and one secretary's position.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at rwills@tribweb.com.

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