Bethel Park school board expected to raise taxes 0.52 mill
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Bethel Park School District is poised to pass a 2012-13 budget next Thursday that would raise the property tax rate by 0.52 mills.
The proposed millage increase brings the total property tax rate to 25.49 mills and equals a $52 increase for a home valued at $100,000. The median home value in Bethel Park is roughly $150,000, said Matt Howard, assistant to the superintendent, who is leading the finance team.
The $73.3 million spending plan includes no program cuts or furloughs, said Leonard Corazzi, director of finance and operations. In earlier budget talks, the board resolved not to fill some positions vacated by retirees and have redistributed staff, a savings of about $400,000, school officials have said.
The district will not replace retirees, including a secretary and a security guard at the high school and three custodians. Principals at Memorial and Washington elementary schools are sharing that duty at William Penn Elementary School, with the reassignment of its former principal, Jay Johnston, to the high school as assistant principal.
Additionally, as Nancy Aloi Rose has moved to district superintendent, her former assistant superintendent position has been filled by the secondary education director Janet O'Rourke, Mr. Howard said.
The school budget is usually completed by May, but administrators said at last month's meeting they would wait until June to approve a plan, hopeful for additional funding from the state, which did not come through.
In earlier drafts, the district considered a spending plan within a 0.94 millage increase. That included the maximum increase allowed under state Act 1, 0.52, plus an extra 0.4169 approved by the state for retiree costs and special education. The act limits increases according to an index developed by the state, but offers exceptions to permit additional tax increases to cover costs in certain categories.
The board delayed a final budget vote until June last year also, hoping for additional state funding. The property tax rate then was increased by 0.41 mills -- less than the state maximum -- bringing the total millage to 24.97 mills. The district also furloughed one half-time music teacher last year and eliminated programs, including the summer reading academy.
The board's voting meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. next Thursday at the administration building.
First Published June 21, 2012 5:07 am