Taxes to rise for Greensburg Salem property owners
Property owners in the Greensburg Salem School District will pay 1.56 percent more in real estate taxes for the upcoming school year.
School directors this week approved 8-1 a budget of $40.5 million for the 2013-14 school year in two votes on the spending plan during a nearly four-hour meeting.
Newly appointed Director Jeffrey Metrosky was the lone dissenter.
The budget includes a property tax increase of 1.25 mills, bringing the total millage to 81.21. That amounts to about $21 more on a house with an average assessed value of $16,410, business manager Jim Meyer said.
Board members approved the tax levy on a 5-4 vote on Wednesday, a few days before the June 30 state deadline for districts to submit budgets.
Voting yes on the tax rate were directors Frank Gazze, Richard Guerrieri, Ron Mellinger Jr., Richard Payha and Stephen Thomas. Voting no were directors Angela DeMarino-Tooch, Lee Kunkle, Metrosky and Barbara Vernail.
The tax increase combines with a withdrawal from the fund balance to plug the gap between revenues and expenses.
The 1.25-mill tax hike will bring in an additional $286,112, Meyer said. Officials will draw $729,182 from the fund balance, leaving $2.24 million in the account.
The fund balance withdrawal was less than the amount initially proposed. Personnel cuts were made to pare down the figure.
There were no furloughs, Meyer said.
“We're not going to fill every position that we anticipated filling,” Meyer said. “We had 11 retirees, plus some proposed new positions that we're not going to fill.”
Cuts could affect supplemental or full-time vacancies, Meyer said.
Officials are still working out exactly what the cuts will mean, Meyer said, and they will discuss the plan in August.
Earlier in the meeting, the board shot down, with a 5-3 vote, a budget of $40.9 million that would have pulled about $1.16 million from the fund balance, leaving $1.8 million.
In that round of voting, Gazze, Guerrieri and Mellinger supported the plan. Voting no were DeMarino-Tooch, Kunkle, Metrosky, Payha and Vernail. Thomas was absent then.
The 2013-14 budget includes a $1.2 million increase, with about $800,000 in state-mandated pension increases and about $417,000 in labor contracts/salaries, Meyer said.
For next year, Meyer predicts increases in retirement and health insurance.
Kunkle urged consideration of future impacts.
“We're widening the gap, the deficit gap,” Kunkle said. “If you don't have the money, you can't spend it.”
Superintendent Eileen Amato said district leaders must balance managing money with providing a quality education.
“By 2015, we're broke,” DeMarino-Tooch said. “We can't balance our budget.”
Payha suggested eliminating some supplemental positions.
During the marathon meeting, board members met twice behind closed doors to discuss “personnel” and “legal” issues, each time for about an hour.
In other business.
• Board members unanimously selected Mellinger as president, filling the role of Nat Pantalone, who resigned last week.
• Directors unanimously appointed Metrosky to fill the vacant seat. He'll serve until Dec. 1.
In the May primary election, Metrosky secured backing on both the Republican and Democratic tickets. Officials contacted Metrosky about the empty seat, and he was interested, Amato said.
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.
- St. Vincent professor, students use interviews to refresh drug addiction data
- Mt Pleasant police officer assaulted while making arrest
- Hempfield Area balances budget with 1.79-mill tax increase
- Hempfield dentist-turned-missionary-turned-author offers advice for youths
- Route 119 ramp to Route 819 to be closed in July
- Former Mt. Pleasant sex offender to stay behind bars while wife hunts for home
- Westmoreland County coroner scheduled to announce ruling in fatal 2013 police standoff
- Fire extinguished at Smithton commercial building
- 14-day Pennsylvania Hero Walk ends in Lower Burrell
- Hempfield man pleads guilty in crime spree in North Huntingdon, Jeannette, Unity
- Jeannette man wins $1M prize from Father’s Day gift of lottery ticket