Gateway passes budget with tax hike
The Gateway school board approved a final budget June 27, including a property tax hike to fill a $1.2 million shortfall.
The $75,312,000 spending plan reflects a decrease of $437,000 in expenditures from last year's budget. However, increased tuition costs for charter and cyber charter school students and loss in annual revenue from the Monroeville Mall contributed to the shortfall.
The district's new tax rate of 19.8675 mills, a 2.8 percent increase, will generate about $1.2 million annually. The tax rate means the owner of a $100,000 home pays an additional $54 in taxes annually.
“I'm not thrilled that we have to raise taxes, but unfortunately that's just something that has to be done every once in a while,” School Director Rick McIntyre said.
The budget passed 6-3. School Directors George Lapcevich, Val Warning and Jesse Kalkstein dissented.
A proposed final budget the board approved in May also included a dip into the district's rainy day fund to cover a projected $1.9 million shortfall. However, the approval of teacher retirements, eight furloughs and reductions of technology expenditures helped eliminate the need for it, McIntyre said.
Eight teaching positions are furloughed effective at the start of the school year due to decreasing enrollment. Four of the eight were temporarily furloughed last year and will not be reinstated. The affected positions include a high school math teacher, a high school science teacher, a high school English teacher, a high school health and physical education teacher, an elementary music teacher and three other elementary teachers.
Business Manager Paul Schott said the district will lose out on $509,000 in annual revenue from the mall because owners won an appeal in May that awarded them a $27 million tax break. The district owes mall owners a $1 million refund dating back to 2015.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2325.