No tax increase for Fox Chapel Area School District residents |
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Tawnya Panizzi

Fox Chapel Area School District residents will pay the same property taxes in 2019-20 after the board approved its final budget on June 10.

The $103 million spending plan retains a tax rate of 19.57 mills, the same as last year.

The owner of a home assessed at $200,000 will again pay $3,914 in school taxes.

Expenses for the coming school year are projected to climb by .43 percent, or $444,464, Bonnie Berzonski, district coordinator of communications, said.

Highlights of the plan include:

• Increased security costs due to new safety measures that include new athletic entrances, lighting and cameras.

• 28 professional staff members are expected to retire by June 30, 2020 as part of the Early Retirement Incentive plan, resulting in one-time severance payments.

“Not all positions will be replaced with a new hire, but those that are will be replaced with a professional employee on the lower end of the salary scale, and, therefore, future savings are anticipated,” Berzonski said. “Other positions are planned to be replaced with existing employees.”

Berzonski said insurance premiums for the district are expected to increase by 1.9 percent for medical, 2 percent for dental and 7 percent for vision.

• The Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) employer contribution rate is set at 34.29 percent, a three percent increase in cost over last year.

“This accounts for 15 percent of the overall budget,” Berzonski said.

The state reimburses 50 percent of the costs, which is included in revenues.

Berzonski said the district has begun repaying the bond issued for the $21 million construction of Kerr Elementary, as well as for upgrades at O’Hara and Fairview elementaries.

“As of July 2018, the district had $11.2 million of fund balance assigned for capital projects,” Berzonski said. “About $992,000 is to be drawn down at the end of the 2018-2019 school year to cover costs associated with technology for the new Kerr building, as well as costs associated with mold and flooding issues at Kerr Elementary, the high school and administration offices in summer/fall of 2018.”

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