ShareThis Page
Home

School budget lowers taxes, hikes spending

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Friday, June 28, 2002

New teachers, courses, textbooks and technology — along with a lower property tax rate — are included in the $40.94 million budget adopted by the Moon Area School Board for the 2002-03 academic year.

Approved Tuesday, the budget represents a 6.4 percent spending increase over the last school year's $40.25 million plan, minus $1.78 million set aside for tax appeals, according to Al Bennett, district business manager.

The tax rate was dropped to 15.72 mills from 17.4 mills last year — a reduction of nearly 10 percent — because of increased assessed valuation of taxable property in the district brought about by the countywide property reassessments and by new construction.

Taxpayers also will receive a one-time tax credit of 1.03 mills because of the district receiving excess real estate tax revenue in 2001-02. With the credit, the net tax rate for 2002-03 is 14.69 mills, a reduction of more than 15 percent over the last school year.

A mill is estimated to generate about $1.61 million in the district, which includes Moon and Crescent townships.

Despite higher property values as a result of county reassessments, most homeowners will have lower school-tax bills because the reduction in the tax rate is greater than the increase in the value of a typical home in the district.

According to county data, the value of a typical home in the district increased 12.8 percent, from about $106,205 in 2001 to $119,800 this year. Under the 2001-02 tax rate, the owner of a home valued at $106,205 paid about $1,848 in school taxes. Under the adjusted 14.69 mill rate, the owner of a typical home, now valued at $119,800, will pay about $1,760 — a decrease of about $88.

The budget includes 9 1 / 2 additional teaching positions, two of which will be funded by federal grants. The budget also includes a new language-arts curriculum for all grades; a new elementary science curriculum; and new texts for computer science and keyboarding in sixth through eighth grades.

The district also will start a "help desk" to assist staff and students in resolving computer problems.

An additional $275,000 of remaining 1997 bond funds have been earmarked for technology upgrades and capital improvements included in original budget requests from school administrators. Overall, $1.73 million was cut from the initial requests.

Superintendent Alexander Meta said the spending plan is sound and will provide good educational opportunities for students.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me