The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 24, 2014

Deficit slashed in half; taxes to rise 2.25 mills

SHARON — Sharon residents can expect their taxes to go up by about $30 this year.

School directors Monday passed the tax hike to support their unanimously approved final budget for the 2014-15 school year.

School officials were able to slide by without any layoffs or cuts in educational programs.

A first look at the numbers for next year showed a $3 million deficit.

Superintendent Michael Calla said the board went through every line item, down to the nickel, and managed to cut the deficit in half before raising taxes.

Property tax bills will go up 2.25 mills – from 68.3 mills to 70.55 mills. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. At the new rate, a home assessed at $15,000 would carry a tax bill of $1,054. Property assessments are 1970 market values.

“We were able to pare it down to make it manageable,” Calla said. “With 30 kids in a class, K through 3, we’re not where we want to be, but it’s fiscally responsible.”

The $1.5 million deficit can be blamed on a number of factors, including a 9.1 percent increase in health-care costs, 26 percent increase in pension fund contributions and a significant rise in cyber charter school payouts.

The state’s portion of the Case Avenue Elementary School debt service will remain in the budget until the Legislature makes a decision to reimburse schools for construction as promised.

Sharon budget at a glance

Here is a breakdown of Sharon City School District’s 2014-15 budget of $31,445,500 with current-year figures in parentheses:

SPENDING

Instruction – $18,776,760 ($18,759,105)

• Regular programs – $12,601,140 ($12,759,260)

• Special education – $5,473,550 ($5,370,145)

Support Services – $7,614,615 ($7,538,765)

• Administration – $1,561,925 ($1,574,750)

• Building Operation and Maintenance – $3,123,920 ($3,158,110)

Noninstructional – $944,525 ($969,075)

Debt service – $4,109,600 ($3,908,000)

REVENUE

Local taxes, including a 70.55-mill real estate levy –  $9,152,175 ($8,476,350)

State funds – $19,341,945 ($18,070,000)

Federal funds – $1,358,580 ($1,532,650)

Fund balance – $1,592,800 ($709,025)

Carryover from prior year – $400,000 (same)

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