McKeesport Area school board approves budget, increases taxes

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School directors in McKeesport Area School District voted 5-4 to approve a $62.4 million budget for the new fiscal year, including a 0.48-mill property tax increase that brings the millage to 15.7.

The average property owner in McKeesport will see a $25 to $30 increase in school taxes as a result.

Board members Scott Smith, Christopher Halaszynski, Steven Kondrosky and Joseph Lopretto voted against the budget.

During an hour-long discussion before the vote, Mr. Lopretto said he did not want to see increased taxes. “A lot of people are on fixed incomes,” he said.

Mr. Halaszynski also noted the tax increase. “There are a lot of people in this district that can’t afford an extra $30," he said.

"I know there is necessity to raise taxes, but I’m not supporting it," he said.

But board member Thomas Maglicco cautioned: “Our fund balance is running out. When it’s out, we will have to furlough more teachers and cut programs." He voted in favor of the budget.

Board member Trisha Gadson, who also supported the budget said before her vote: “If we don’t have a strong enough education in this district, then our community falls.”

The board also voted at the meeting to furlough three teachers, including an auto mechanics teacher at the high school, a family and consumer science teacher at Founders Hall Middle School and an art teacher. A fourth teacher would have been furloughed, but chose to resign. Mr. Halaszynski and Mr. Kondrosky voted against the furloughs.

First Published June 26, 2014 12:00 AM

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