Greater Latrobe tax hike approved
Greater Latrobe School District property owners will be paying more in taxes next year.
The 2014-15 budget of $51.2 million was approved by school board members with a 7-0 vote on Tuesday. Directors Eric Hauser and Merle Musick were absent.
The 1-mill tax increase was approved with a 6-1 vote. The average assessed value of a home in the district is $25,861, with 1 mill providing about $335,000 in revenue for the district.
Bill Mohler, who cast the dissenting vote, said although the increase was caused by obligations to the Pennsylvania State Employee Retirement System, taxpayers may perceive that the burden came from the construction of a $9 million athletic and wellness complex.
“I thought imposing a tax increase might send the wrong message at this time,” he said.
Before the budget was approved, board President Susan Mains commended business administrator Dan Watson for his work on the spending plan.
“The district expenses have been going down over the years,” she said. “This levy is a result of the PSERS payments we are looking at in the future and Dan did, I think, a great job planning ahead for that.”
Watson presented the board with figures in May, including the $1.5 million budget increase this year, $1.1 million of which comes from rising retirement benefits costs.
A $300,000 shortfall was expected with no increase in state or federal funding.
Board member Michael Zorch suggested before the vote that the board increase taxes to the maximum amount capped by the state in order to plan ahead as the benefit costs continue to creep upward.
He said quality programs and education provided at Greater Latrobe should not be sacrificed because of that burden.
“I would hate to have us in the future start cutting things that are necessary,” Zorch said.
Under the state's Act 1 index, Greater Latrobe is able to raise taxes 2.7 percent, or 2.08 mills, which could garner up to $696,000 in a year.
Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 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.
- Derry water outage may be resolved by 5 p.m. Sunday, authority says
- Mt. Pleasant-based author details area’s ‘Hidden History’
- Westmoreland, Fayette groups open doors to share Thanksgiving meals
- Woman to stand trial in Jeannette tot’s death
- Westmoreland, Fayette towns prepare to ring in holidays
- 7 arrested in Latrobe-area drug dealing
- Psychologist’s compassion buoyed students, friends
- 20 charged in Western Pennsylvania drug crackdown
- Woman admits to theft of 2 weapons in Latrobe shooting case
- Westmoreland County warden wants X-ray machine to find drugs
- 3 gunmen sought in Hempfield home invasion