News Column

Mahanoy Area board approves tentative budget with tax increase

May 23, 2014

By John E. Usalis, Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.

May 23--MAHANOY CITY -- Taxpayers in the Mahanoy Area School District will see a 1.4-mill real estate tax increase in the 2014-15 operating budget.

The Mahanoy Area school board met on Thursday to tentatively adopt the general fund budget for the next school year, which begins July 1. The budget will be formally adopted at the June 26 board meeting.

The school board voted 7-1 to approve the tentative budget of $17,348,664, an increase of $745,456 above the current general budget of $16,603,208.

The 1.4-mill increase will set the real estate tax rate at 46.2 mills. The current millage is 44.8 mills. Each mill brings in about $81,000 in tax revenue.

"This will be only the second tax increase in the last eight years," district Business Administrator John J. Hurst said in his budget summary. "This increase will equate to an extra $26.33 for the average property assessed at $19,426."

All other taxes remain the same:

- Occupation tax: $130

- Real estate transfer tax: One-half of one percent

- Earned income tax: One-half of one percent

- Occupational privilege tax: $5

- Amusement tax: Five percent

According to the "Propose Final General Fund Budget Executive Summary" provided by Hurst, the budgeted revenue from local, state, federal and other financing sources for the next fiscal year is $17,117,070, which is 4.51 percent higher than the current fiscal year budget.

However, the projected total expenditures of $17,348,664 is an increase of 4.49 percent over this budget year, leaving a deficit of $231,594. The budget will be balanced by taking that amount from the uncommitted fund balance of $750,000, reducing it to $518,406.

The budget includes:

- A net increase in Public School Employees' Retirement System costs of $138,152.

- An increase in charter school costs of $131,000.

- A Student Focused Funding Supplement of $213,338, which is part of Gov. Tom Corbett's proposed Ready to Learn Block Grant.

- Elimination of one full-time custodial position.


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Source: Republican & Herald (Pottsville, PA)

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