Share This Page

Latrobe district residents could pay a bit more with increase in taxes

| Thursday, May 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Property owners in the Greater Latrobe School District could see a 1-mill property tax increase next year.

The school board passed a preliminary budget this week that includes the possible increase, which would mean an average increase of about $25 for property owners, business manager Dan Watson said.

One mill generates about $335,000 in revenue.

Superintendent Judith Swigart said she and other administrators are satisfied with the budget as it stands and with the work they put into keeping the increase low.

The only major alterations to the final version of the budget would come from any changes in state funding, she said.

The 1-mill increase could be cut if there is any increase in state funding, but that seems unlikely, Swigart said.

Director Kathryn Elder, chairwoman of the finance committee, said the state's Act 1, known as the Taxpayer Relief Act, requires a tax increase once a threshold is reached to prevent a big jump for taxpayers in subsequent years.

“We decided it was safer all the way around to raise taxes 1 mill, given the restrictions Act 1 puts on us,” she said.

Elder emphasized the impact of the Public School Employees' Retirement System, or PSERS, on the budget, which otherwise has been slashed.

The district projects a budget of $49.6 million.

Without the PSERS requirements, the budget decreased by 0.76 percent from $46.3 million in 2012-13, but once the retirement benefits are included, the budget will reflect a $664,489 increase.

“There's been a lot of work put into it,” Elder said.

Board member Bill Palmer praised the finance committee members during Tuesday's meeting.

“I think everybody worked very, very hard to get it where it is this year,” he said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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.