Fox Chapel Area schools propose tax increase

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Residents in Fox Chapel Area School District will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed 0.98 percent increase in the property tax rate for the 2014-15 school year at a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday in the high school’s large group instruction room.

The proposed increase would bring the tax rate to 18.62 mills, an increase of 0.18 mill. One mill equals about $3.4 million for the school district.

The owner of a home with an assessed value of $265,057, the average in the district, would see a tax increase of about $44. The district encompasses Aspinwall, Blawnox, Fox Chapel, Indiana Township and O’Hara. 

The board also is expected to discuss the proposed final budget at its agenda study session at 7 p.m. June 9 in O’Hara Elementary School auditorium and at its voting meeting at 7 p.m. June 16 in the high school large group instruction room. The board plans to adopt a final budget at the voting meeting.

Total revenues in the proposed 2014-15 budget are projected to increase from the current year’s $83.2 million to $87.4 million.

The largest increase in expenses next year is in retirement costs, according to Bonnie Berzonski, coordinator of communications for Fox Chapel Area. Other major increases are in medical insurance premiums and tuition costs for charter schools, she said.

The district issued bonds in 2013 and currently has $46 million to fund renovations that began last month at the high school and those planned for Dorseyville Middle School and at Fairview, Kerr and O’Hara elementary schools.

Rita Michel, freelance writer:

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