School officials say Seneca Valley deficit cut in half

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The Seneca Valley School District appears to be in a better financial position than it originally expected, according to school officials.

A combination of improved tax collection, increased development in the district and personnel cuts have brought the deficit down from a projected $2.8 million to about $1.4 million, said Lynn Burtner, the district's business manager.

Ms. Burtner said the switch to countywide collection of earned income taxes has brought an unexpected $500,000 to the district.

She said Seneca Valley has also seen an increase in the value of a mill of property tax. Increased development in the district is the reason, she added.

According to Ms. Burtner, one mill of property tax was valued at $515,000 last school year. It will now bring in about $525,000 per mill which means the district will see an extra $265,375 at the current tax rate, she said.

The decreased deficit is also the result of employee retirements and furloughs.

Superintendent Tracy Vitale said 17 teachers are retiring and three of those positions will be eliminated. She said that will save about $227,000 next school year. She said they intend to replace the 14 other retirees with new employees who will be earning less, resulting in another $196,836 savings.

School board members are expected to vote on a proposed education budget at next Monday's board meeting.

education - neigh_north

Laure Cioffi, freelance writer: suburbanliving@post-gazette.com.


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