A $69.4 million budget proposed for the Pine-Richland School District calls for a 4.24 percent tax increase and no cuts in personnel.
The proposed preliminary budget is at a very early stage—the school board will vote on it Feb. 11 in the first of several votes. It is available for public review at the PRSD administrative offices at 702 Warrendale Road in Gibsonia and at Northern Tier Regional Library.
The February vote does not set a tax rate or approve the budget—it is a step in the budget process for setting the tax rate.
Currently, the state limits the amount the school board can raise the tax rate to 2 percent. To go above that rate, the district must apply to the state by March 7 for exceptions based on the rising costs of the state's retirement system (PSERS) and special education instruction.
"This by no means commits us to anything," board Treasurer Dennis Sundo said Monday at the school board meeting. It gives the board options as it works on the budget, he added.
The school board's finance committee meets March 4 to work on the budget and will meet every two weeks or so after that, Sundo said.
A preliminary vote on the budget is set for May and a final vote that includes setting the tax rate will be on June 10, said Dana Siford, director of finance and school services for the district.
Setting the tax rate will take into consideration the approximately 30 percent increase in reassessed values of property in the Pine-Richland community. The school district is not allowed to make a windfall profit because of the increased assessments, so the tax rate will need to be lowered.
Some reassessments still are being challenged so the school district does not know yet what the final tally for reassessed values is.
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