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Connellsville Area School District won't raise property taxes above Act 1 index

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By Rachel Basinger
Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 4:30 p.m.

Connellsville Area School Board does not plan to raise property taxes too high, if at all, throughout the 2014-15 budget preparation process.

This week, the board passed a motion not to raise taxes past the Act 1 index for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

This year that index was set at 3.1 percent, which equals 0.391 of a mill, generating approximately $395,000 of additional revenue.

The directors can choose, at some point in the next several months, anything from not raising taxes at all to raising them by the 0.391 of a mill.

With the passing of this resolution, however, the board cannot increase taxes in the 2014-15 budget any higher than 0.391 of a mill.

Business Manager Eugene Cunningham explained the Act 1 process.

“Act 1 requires that school districts will have to make a 2014-15 proposed preliminary budget available for public inspection by Jan. 30 or adopt a resolution by that time indicating that they will not raise the rate of any tax by more than its index,” he said.

If the district did not adopt a resolution that it wouldn't raise taxes above the approved index, it would have had to adopt a preliminary budget by Feb. 19.

Cunningham said it is very difficult to prepare a budget this early in the year that would be accurate because officials have no idea at this point what the state budget is or what the state would allot to the district.

In other business this week, directors approved:

• Operation of two life skills classes at Dunbar Township Elementary for extended school year services from June 24 to July 24.

• A request from the Connellsville Area High School Falcons baseball team to attend the Ripken Experience at Myrtle Beach, S.C., March 20-25 at an approximate cost of $1,200 for three substitutes for four days.

• A request to allow Dominic Grenaldo, an English teacher at Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center, to attend the PSSA Keystone English Language Arts forum in Harrisburg Feb. 23-28 at an approximate cost of $500 for one substitute for five days.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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