Jamestown Area School Board approved the 2006-07 final budget as it was presented in January to meet Act 72 regulations.

Property owners in the district will see a tax hike for the first time in two years, with Mercer County’s property tax going up 1.5 percent and Crawford County’s rate rising 2.1 percent.

The budget shows $8,411,768 in spending and revenues of about $7.5 million; the difference will be made by tapping the district’s surplus, which expected to be about $800,000 at the end of the 2006-07 school year.

The board levied property taxes at 53.581 mills in Mercer County and 36.764 mills in Crawford County. Act 72 caps tax hikes at 5.4 percent for the district without voter approval or a state-issued exception.

The tax rates are different, but the dollar amounts they raise are the same. The state tax equalization board rebalances the rates every year.

Jamestown is one of three districts in Mercer County that opted-in to the Homeowner Tax Relief Act to offset tax bills with state gaming revenues.

Act 72 puts many requirements on school districts, including moving the budgeting process up six months. There has been no word from the state on when Act 72 school districts will see any gaming money.

In Mercer County, a mill is $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s 1970 market value. A property in Mercer County assessed at $10,000 would carry a tax bill of $535 under the proposed budget.

Between the two counties, 1 mill brings about $40,000 to the district, business manager Cheryl Goodemote said.

Act 72 districts must also impose a 0.1 percent earned income tax increase that does not go into effect until gaming revenues are realized. Without that increase, Jamestown taxpayers’ rate will remain at 0.5 percent.

The school district includes Jamestown and Greene Township in Mercer County and South and West Shenango townships in Crawford County.

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