Uniontown Area School Board rejects tax cut
An attempt to cut real estate taxes by a quarter of a mill failed Monday night when the Uniontown Area School Board adopted a $40.36 million budget for 2013-14 that holds the line on taxes.
School board member Bill Gerke made a motion to approve a 14.18 millage rate, which would have reflected a 0.25-mill tax reduction from the district's current rate of 14.43 mills.
School board President Tom George seconded Gerke's motion.
“We're trying to lower the taxes by one-quarter of a mill so that some of the money we saved this past year goes back into the taxpayers' pockets,” George said.
George said the school district has been saving money because it is operating with about 40 fewer employees.
“One-quarter of a mill amounts to about $200,000 out of a $40 million budget,” George said.
School board member Susan Clay said she was opposed to the tax reduction because “we have contracts coming up and litigation to settle.”
Clay said she believes it would be a disservice to the students and taxpayers to make additional cuts to education.
“I think we need to put back into education what we have denied our kids,” Clay said, as teachers, parents and students applauded.
“We're here to educate the students properly,” she added. “Have we replaced all of the classrooms we have cut?”
Superintendent Charles Machesky said some of the classrooms have been replaced, but the physical education, music and art programs have not been fully restored.
Business Manager Brent Filak warned the school board members that a millage reduction could result in a deficit spending plan if unexpected expenses arose during the year.
Gerke asked the business manager if Uniontown's share at the Fayette County Career & Technical School decreased $200,000 from $1.1 million to $900,000.
Filak confirmed that there had been a 10 percent reduction in vo-tech expenses, which would save the district an estimated $200,000.
“There is an excess in the vo-tech line item,” Filak said.
School board members who voted against the tax decrease included Clay, William Rittenhouse, Vincent Winfrey, Dorothy Grahek, Ken Meadows and Philip Holt.
Gerke and George voted in favor of the tax reduction. School board member Lloyd Williams was absent from the meeting.
Cindy Ekas is a freelance writer.
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.
- Dunbar continues clean-up efforts after flood
- Parade of Mustangs to kick off Connellsville’s Mum Festival
- Fayette County communities proceed with proposed land bank to fight blight
- 30 days to decide fate of WCVI
- Lynn: Connellsville, Frazier districts begin school year
- Fayette SPCA closure causes void
- Connellsville walkers get dose of railroad talk, tracing trains’ track
- Connellsville shooting victim identified
- Geibel student gets peek at life at Harvard Medical School
- Fayette commissioners clash over jail options
- Uniontown man will serve prison term for arson