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Kiski Area to boost property tax 1 mill

| Tuesday, May 22, 2001

Kiski Area School Board approved a preliminary 2001-02 budget Monday that calls for a 1-mill increase in property taxes.

The budget includes $37.7 million in expenses, which is a 2.7 percent increase from the current budget.

Most of the budget - $21.6 million - is earmarked for instructional purposes. That figure reflects 57 percent of the budget.

Board members voted 8-0 to approve the budget. President Stephen Nelson was absent.

Most of Kiski Area is in Westmoreland County, but part of it - Parks Township - is in Armstrong County, which is why two different tax rates apply.

In Westmoreland, the tax rate will go up 1 mill to 57.7 mills. In Armstrong, the tax rate will go up 1 mill to 28.7 mills.

For Kiski Area, 1 mill generates about $190,000, business manager Kevin Palladino said.

The tax increase is needed because costs in the district are increasing, Palladino said.

On the revenue side, the district expects to get $15.6 million in money from local taxes, which is a 4 percent increase over the current budget. The district expects to get $17.8 million from state sources, which is a 2 percent increase.

Federal and other sources of revenue will make up the difference between expenses and revenue.

Superintendent Stephen Vak said the district's tax rate is about average for school districts in Westmoreland County and probably one of the lowest in Armstrong.

Copies of the preliminary budget will be available to the public and will be placed in all schools, banks and municipal offices within the district, Vak said.

Board members plan to adopt a final 2001-02 budget at their June meeting.

In other business, board members also accepted the resignations of Milt Shearer and LuAnn Fee. Shearer, the district's athletics director, served the district 36 years and Fee, the district's food service director, served the district four years.

Jonathan Szish can be reached at jszish@tribweb.com

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