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Upper St. Clair tax hike is more to avoid increase down the line

| Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 3:28 p.m.

Upper St. Clair residents will see a larger-than-anticipated hike in school property taxes for the fiscal year beginning July 1, after the school board decided that a bigger increase now might save taxpayers from another increase in 2013-14.

Board members amended the proposed final budget last night to increase the property tax rate by 1.618 mills instead of the 1.375 mills previously discussed.

For a house valued at $200,000, that will mean an additional $323.60 over this year's tax bills, or a total of $5,143.60 a year at the approved property tax rate of 25.718 mills.

The last-minute change in tax rates means that property owners will pay $48.60 more than they may have expected, based on earlier budget deliberations.

Superintendent Patrick O'Toole said school officials hoped the higher tax rate this year would result in a lower or no tax increase next year, when growing pension obligations are expected to continue straining school districts' budgets. The amended budget passed by a 6-3 vote.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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