Franklin Regional preliminary budget includes tax hike
Franklin Regional School Board on Monday adopted a preliminary 2014-15 budget that includes a 0.83-mill tax hike.
With expenditures of $50,250,828 and revenues of $49,977,050, the budget includes $285,000 of additional funding from the Public School Employees Retirement System fund.
Coupled with the proposed tax hike, the budget would hold an $11,000 surplus.
The tentative proposal passed 8-1, with directors Larry Borland, Dennis Pavlik, Susan Ilgenfritz, Gregg Neavin, Jeremy Samek, Roberta Cook, Jane Tower and Herb Yingling voting in favor.
Board member George Harding was absent from the special meeting.
The preliminary budget will be available for public review prior to final adoption, scheduled for the June 16 voting board meeting, finance director Jon Perry said.
Prior to voting, Cook discussed the “gap,” a difference between cost increases and revenue increases.
She said under Act 1 — the state legislation that distributes gambling revenue to districts — the state limits how much school boards can raise the tax rate each year.
Franklin Regional's Act 1 index for the upcoming school year was capped at 2.1 mills.
Cutting programming is no better an option for budget balancing, Cook said.
The amount of the district's budget that is considered discretionary is about 8 percent, she said, or $4 million.
And tapping budgetary reserves would quickly exhaust that fund, Cook said.
She said she has heard that some Westmoreland County districts are unable or unwilling to raise taxes to meet their own “gap,” have already cut programming and eaten up budgetary reserve funds.
In order to maintain line items including technology and capital projects, discussed in an earlier committee-of-the-whole meeting, Cook said the board should follow its “fiduciary responsibilities” and pass the 0.83-mill tax hike.
Perry said prior to Monday's meeting that a commitment to maintaining current programs would sometimes require “modest increases —year over year.”
Along with Act 1 restrictions, the district is grappling with mandatory increases to its payment to the under-funded PSERS.
The district raised taxes for 10 consecutive years until last May. During the last five years, the average tax increase was below 2 mills per year, a budget history showed.
The district's current millage rate is 87.68 mills, with the value of a mill estimated at $339,000 for the 2014-15 school year.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or email@example.com.
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 seek 2 in Derry Twp. luring attempt
- Inmate charged with smuggling drugs into Westmoreland prison
- Police: Woman faked Mt. Pleasant robbery
- Directors to view Southmoreland High upgrades
- 2 arrested after Jeannette raid turns up heroin, crack, gun
- Rostraver man pleads guilty in 2012 deadly wreck on I-70
- Ligonier man accused of beating, strangling woman
- PennDOT prefers keeping Yukon, Madison interchanges; project to require at least 3 new bridges
- Hempfield officials to review site plan for Excela Health Orthoplex
- Two Westmoreland men charged with drug possession