West Jefferson Hills School Board raises taxes again

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The West Jefferson Hills School Board has adopted a preliminary budget of $42.7 million for the 2014-15 school year that raises taxes for the second consecutive year.

The increase in the real estate tax, which was unanimously approved Tuesday night, is 0.488 mills, raising the millage rate to 18.592 mills.

That means the owner of a home appraised at $100,000 will pay a little over $48 more next year.


Last year, the millage was raised 0.39 mills. It was the first tax increase since 2008.


There are no furloughs or program cuts in the proposed budget.

The increased revenue will provide for debt service payments for the future Thomas Jefferson High School, to be built on a vacant 151-acre site the districts owns across from the administration building on Old Clairton Road.

The existing high school building is 53 years old and in need of costly renovations. Its future has yet to be determined.

It is estimated that the new high school building will cost taxpayers with a $100,0000 assessed home about $299 more in taxes over seven years.

The plan is for construction to begin in early 2016, with completion by July 1, 2018.

''It is an extremely responsible budget,'' Superintendent Dr. Michael Panza said.

''It is part of our financial plan presented last year to the board about the financial status of the district going forward,'' board President Anthony Angotti said.

A final budget is expected to be adopted at the board's June 26 meeting.

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