The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 21, 2013

School board proposes 1st tax hike in 6 years

HERMITAGE — Hermitage School Board is proposing the first property tax hike since 2007-08 under a 2013-14 budget tentatively approved Monday.

The real estate levy would go up 1.239 mills to 60.239 mills.

The significance of the 1.239-mill jump is that the figure is the most officials can raise the property tax without asking voters for a referendum or the state for exemptions because of jumps in specific expenses.

A mill is $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value; assessments are a property’s 1970 market value.

A property assessed at $100,000 would see its property tax bill climb from $5,900 a year to $6,024.

The budget cuts teaching and staff positions and eliminates the in-car portion of driver’s education, but officials still are looking at raising taxes to offset expenses such as a 37-percent jump in retirement fund contributions, a 7-percent hike in hospitalization and  contractual employee pay hikes.

“The substantial reason for it (tax hike) is PSERS,” Business Manager Monique Barber said, referring to the retirement program that local districts and the state jointly pay into.

Retirement contributions steadily have increased since the economic downturn, and state officials expects the trend to continue.

While the district paid only 5.64 percent of staff salaries into the retirement account in 2011, it will pay 16.93 percent next year. The trend is expected to continue upward until the contribution rate reaches the low 30-percent range in 2019, at which point it will level out for some time, according to state projections.

The $28,444,395 budget is up 3.24 percent over this year’s spending plan. It cuts two teaching positions, a central administration position and a half-time maintenance position, Barber said.

School officials also will be talking about furloughing employees and cutting hours by the time the budget must be approved, June 31. Officials are not sure how many furloughs will go out, but the cuts will affect all areas of operation, Barber said.

State subsidies for regular education have not been what they were before the economic downturn and have not increased for special education for six years, Barber said.

Hermitage relies on local taxpayers for 60 percent of its budget - more than most other local school districts - but city taxpayers consistently have paid their dues, with the collection rate at 95 percent.

“Local revenue has remained steady,” Barber said.

While the tentative budget, if approved, would be the largest ever in the school district, the budget is less than $1 million higher than it was in 2008-09.

And, although parents will have to send their children to local companies for on-the-road driving instruction, the “integral” education programs remain in tact, Barber said.

The board will vote on a final budget June 20.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014

  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014

  • Southwest mulls how to adopt study points

    Even though some members of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department had little respect for a study of the department completed by a consultant, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. pledged to implement as many of the study’s recommendations as he could.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beader plans to resign, just not yet

    Democratic Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader acknowledges that he intends to resign, but said nothing will happen until after he meets privately with the county’s judges next Thursday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Wildlife fund for park Aiding Buhl Farm animals

    Some of Steven Jubelirer’s fondest memories of his mother, Natalie, was when they would walk together in Buhl Farm park, Hermitage.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • News briefs from April 15, 2014

    Man charged with attack on his wife in Walmart

    Woman arrested for stabbing man with knife

    3 injured in pickup-motorcycle crash

    April 15, 2014

  • Judge orders Marin removed from ballot

    Saying the testimony of Congressional candidate Mel Marin of Sharon wasn’t credible, the Commonwealth Court has ordered Marin’s name removed from the Democratic Party’s ballot for one of area’s congressional seats in the May primary because Marin now has less than the required 1,000 valid signatures.

    April 15, 2014

  • Fire ruled accident, but cause unknown

    The fire in Greenville-Reynolds Industrial Park was most likely started by workers who were gutting the building, according to a deputy fire marshal.

    April 15, 2014

  • Mertz Tower fire Mertz tenant charged with arson

    A tenant who was being evicted from her apartment because of bizarre behavior is accused of setting her sofa ablaze at Wade D. Mertz Towers in Sharpsville.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tickled reflexology and pedicure salon Crafting a new downtown

    We’ll know better five years from now what lasting impact public interest in the arts and boutique shopping had in efforts to revitalize downtown Sharon with small businesses.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Have van, need drivers to serve elderly

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Sharonheraldnewspaper Facebook Page