Carlynton approves budget with tax hike
Carlynton school board members approved the 2018-19 general fund budget that includes a nearly 1-mill increase.
Board member Caleb Richardson was not at the June 25 meeting.
The real estate tax rate will be 23.5 mills for 2018-19, an increase of 0.998 mill. For property owners with an assessed value of $100,000, the annual tax bill will be $2,350, an increase of almost $100 from last year.
The $28,456,460 budget has a projected deficit of $317,508. Christopher Juzwick, director of fiscal affairs and budget, said even though the budget is approved, he will continue to try to reduce the deficit.
“Our goal is to continue to get the deficit down as close to zero as possible,” Juzwick said.
The fund balance would most likely be used to cover any deficit. The district's fund balance is projected to be $2.16 million when the fiscal year ends June 30.
Total revenues won't be finalized until the end of the month as well.
In March, school officials were facing a deficit of more than $700,000. Superintendent Gary Peiffer said he credits Juzwick for examining all line items and creating new procedures that will reduce excess spending.
Peiffer said it was the little things, such as printing and supplies, that were cut or reduced that added up to noticeable savings.
The district will also change how it invests some funds. The board approved the district's participation in the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust and the PA School District Liquid Asset Fund.
Board member David Roussos said the investments are not risky.
“(The trust) is designed for school districts,” Roussos said.
While the rate of return is about 2 percent, it is slightly higher than the current investment.
Despite the financial constraints, school officials noted that courses and programs were not cut.
Jim Spezialetti is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.