Preliminary budget includes tax increase in Pine-Richland

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Pine-Richland school directors gave unanimous approval Monday evening to a preliminary budget for 2013-14 that calls for an increase in the property tax rate.

The $69.4 million budget calls for a 4.24 percent increase in the millage rate that currently is set at 22.815 mills, but finance director Dana Siford said the spending plan could be changed substantially before its scheduled final adoption June 10.

A lack of clarity in the Allegheny County property assessment process has made it impossible to calculate exactly the district's property tax rate for next year, according to school officials who are alerting residents to the preliminary nature of the budget on its website.

"Please be aware that this is a working document and is not an indication of final millage rates ... ," it reads.

As advertised, the preliminary budget shows total expenditures of $69.42 million with revenues of $68.79 million and using a fund balance of $630,553.

Last year, the district raised taxes by 0.9438 mills, about 4.3 percent. The impact was calculated at $171.02 for the owner of a property with a median assessed value of $179,200.

There are no proposed cuts in personnel at this point in the budgeting process for the next school year, Ms. Siford said. Likewise, no program cuts are included in the spending plan, she said.

The district has indicated it will seek state approval to exceed a mandated tax rate increase of 2 percent.

The district's fiscal year begins July 1 and runs through June 30, 2014.

education - neigh_north

Karen Kane: kkane@post-gazette.com or 724-772-9180.


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