Norwin school board passes 2014-2015 budget

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Norwin school board on Wednesday night passed a $64.1 million budget for the 2014-2015 school year that will raise school real estate taxes by 1.85 mills.

According to a press release from the district, the tax increase on a Westmoreland County home in the district with a median assessed value of $21,460 would be $39.70.

A tiny portion of Allegheny County in South Versailles Township and White Oak lies within the Norwin School District, involving 21 households.

The Allegheny County households will see a 0.21-mill decrease in real estate taxes. John Wilson, district business manager, said the new budget will include an increase of $650,000 in contributions toward the

Public School Employees’ Retirement System for employee pensions. The increase is state mandated.

“That’s for us, almost two mills of taxes,” he said. Revenues will increase by 4.6 percent during the 2014-2015 school year, mostly from real estate tax millage and an increase in earned income tax collection.

The district will be left with a revenue deficit of $460,000. Mr. Wilson said Norwin will take $250,000 from the district’s unassigned fund balance and $210,000 from the part of the district’s fund balance that is

reserved for retirement cost increases, to cover the deficit.

The fund balance for retirement increases is money that “we’ve purposefully put aside… to use in years like this,” Mr. Wilson said.

Unless the state legislature does something to fix the pension system, required school contributions to the state pension plan will reach 30 percent during the 2016-2017 school year, school officials said.

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