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Board approves 0.6 mill tax increase, targets debt

| Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The Plum School Board on Tuesday night approved a 0.6 mill tax hike and directed more than $800,000 toward paying down debt.

The $42 million spending plan was approved 6-3 with Tom McGough, Mary Louise Anderson and Jeff Matthews dissenting. All three candidates are seeking re-election.

The annual tax bill for the average homeowner -- whose home is valued at $93,900 -- will increase $56.33 to $1,784. The new rate will be 19 mills.

The tax hike will bring an additional $649,674 in revenue. That money plus an additional $246,842 -- the balance from the refinancing of general obligation bonds -- will go into a restricted reserve fund to help make payments on the district's $80 million debt.

Anderson voted against that proposal.

Plum property owners were hit with a 3.5 mill tax increase last year. One mill generates $1.08 million for the district.

Before last year, property owners had not experienced a tax increase in 10 years.

The district also could pick up about $300,000 in state money for full-day kindergarten under a proposal by Gov. Ed Rendell.

That money wasn't budgeted because the state budget has yet to be approved, district officials said.

Board member Barbara Krause, education committee chairwoman, reported last night that 225 students are registered for full-day kindergarten.

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