Taxes going up for homeowners in Carlynton School District
Property owners in the Carlynton School District will pay more in taxes for the 2019-20 school year, as school board members approved a $29.58 million budget that includes a tax rate increase of 0.6815 mills.
The increase puts the tax rate at 24.1815 for 2019-20. District residents with property assessed at $100,000 will pay an annual tax rate of $2,418, an increase of $68 from their 2018-19 bill.
Despite the tax hike, school officials needed $711,664 from the district’s fund balance to offset a deficit. That estimated amount would leave the district with a projected fund balance of $1.69 million by June 2020.
Christopher Juzwick, director of fiscal affairs and budget, said salary and benefits make up about 71% of the expenditures.
A major expense mandated by the state is Carlynton’s contribution to the Pennsylvania State Employee Retirement System. School districts must contribute 34.29% of their employees’ salary total. For Carlynton, that amount is more than $4 million. In 2008-09, the contribution rate was just 4.76 percent.
The most notable action school officials took to help reduce the budget deficit was restructuring the elementary general music department. Instead of three teachers for instrumental, band and chorus classes at Carnegie and Crafton elementary schools, all programs will be taught by two instructors, with the third teacher moving to another position in the district.
District officials also cut costs with transportation by reducing routes and having some of the field trips and athletic travel done in-house.
Finance committee meetings are held by the school board each month and are open to the public. The next meeting is Aug.13. More details about the 2019-20 budget can be found on the district website, https://www.carlynton.k12.pa.us/.