Norwin board reverses on tax increase
By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Norwin school board members will vote next week on a revised 2013-14 preliminary budget that would stay within the state-imposed limit on real estate taxes, an about-face from a vote last month.
In January, the board approved a proposed preliminary budget of $62 million that included a 5.25-mill tax increase.
District business manager John Wilson attributes the change to several items, including funding from the governor's budget and potential savings in personnel and other costs.
Under state law, school districts are given limits on how much they can hike taxes. Norwin's state-imposed limit for a tax increase for next school year is 1.5 mills, which would raise $550,000 in the district.
Districts may request an exception from the state limit but must apply in January, before the governor's budget announcement, Wilson said during a meeting Monday.
Gov. Tom Corbett's proposal would increase Norwin's basic education subsidy by $273,000. That amount could couple with a 1.5-mill tax increase and savings of $904,500 in personnel costs, $150,000 in health insurance costs and $300,000 in pension costs.
Those amounts would help plug a $2 million gap in the district's budget.
Nothing has been finalized, Wilson said, and the goal is to have no furloughs.
Wilson also listed nine other areas to review for possible savings. Those include online textbooks, renegotiating a copier lease and reviewing service providers for occupational and physical therapy.
The governor's budget, Wilson cautioned, is not final until approved by the Legislature.
“There (are) so many factors that come into play between now and the final budget. We work on it weekly, if not daily,” Superintendent William Kerr said. “I think it's reassuring the fact that the governor has proposed an increase.”
Board member Raymond Kocak said he still wants to apply for the exception to the state's 1.5-mill index “in case we need it,” he said.
The school board must approve a final budget in June.
Last year, Norwin officials had to cut $2.2 million from the budget and $2.8 million the year before, Kerr said.
The district this school year is operating on a $58.9 million budget. The school board voted in June 2012 to raise taxes 1.45 mills, helping to plug a budget gap. Despite the increase, the district's tax rate is the lowest in Westmoreland County.
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
- ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
- Graziani hired away from Latrobe as Penn Township’s manager
- Hempfield Area superintendent, business manager quit
- Jailed Hribal ‘fine,’ but family ‘terrible’ as answers in stabbing sought
- Judge explains why suspect in East Liberty killings was freed
- Ligonier Valley to buy 3D printer for students
- West Newton Council approves seismic testing for natural gas — without trucks
- Derry Borough councilwoman pleads guilty in missing-money case
- Response to Franklin Regional stabbings earns official top public safety spot
- New Alexandria man charged with assaulting boy in 2009