The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

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May 10, 2014

Tax increase suggested for school budget

GROVE CITY — The preliminary budget for next school year in Grove City is expected to increase, and the district’s superintendent is recommending a tax increase.

Next school year’s preliminary budget is balanced at $36,954,101, according to early figures presented at Monday’s school board meeting. This year’s budget is balanced at $35,175,562.

“Every part of this budget goes through the vetting process. It’s a rigorous process that takes place over time,” Superintendent Dr. Richard Mextorf said.

“There’s things we can control, because responsible people with more eyes on the budget are in, finding more ways to be efficient and effective. The things we can’t control, we allocate for that.”

Mextorf is recommending a 1-mill increase for next year’s budget, which would be saved for invariable expenditures that will come in the district’s future. “It’s not like the old days; not increasing taxes this year but increasing by 2 mills next year,” he said, because of state laws that put a cap on millage increases according to a district’s demographics.

Having a modest increase annually ensures that the allowed money won’t be lost, Mextorf added.

Business Manager Kim Buchanan gave a rundown of the preliminary budget’s revenues and expenditures during the meeting. Estimated local revenue has increased nearly $1,176,000 and state revenue has gone up nearly $603,000, totaling nearly $1,780,000.

From state revenue, the district is expecting a Learn to Read grant of more than $337,000; and Social Security and retirement reimbursements are expected to bring in almost $250,000, according to the early numbers. Ward of the state revenues are expected to increase by nearly $104,000; special education, more than $6,000.

Those figures are offset by $93,500 less in money anticipated for vocational education, rentals/payments and health services.

For local revenue, real estate is expected to increase by almost $270,000 – and real estate transfer/delinquent taxes and rentals are expected to bring in $128,000, according to preliminary figures.

Tuition from George Junior Republic is expected to increase by nearly $910,000. However, Title 1 and 11 funds from the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV; and GJR Title 1 moneys are expected to be almost $130,000 less next school year, the early numbers state.

Estimated expenditures are slightly more than revenues in the preliminary 2014-2015 school year budget at nearly $1,785,000, making costs about $5,000 more than revenues. However, that does not include about $6,000 extra taken from the fund balance to balance this year’s budget.

Expenditures include an estimated $2,008,000 anticipated for instruction and support services, the preliminary budget says. That will include a new middle school counselor, math coach at Hillview and math lab at the high school, Buchanan said.

That is offset by a decrease of more than $223,000 for non-instructional and debt services, the preliminary figures add.

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