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Pine-Richland Approves Proposed Final Budget with 3.1 Percent Tax Increase

The board is expected to vote on a final budget at the June 10 school board meeting.

Pine-Richland officials voted 7 to 1 at Monday’s school board meeting to approve a proposed final budget with a real estate tax increase of 3.1 percent. The increase bridges a $1.6 million funding gap for the 2013-14 school year.

Board member Stephen Hawbaker voted against the motion.

As of May 6, the proposed budged shows $69,602,589 in total expenditures with revenues at $69,327,088—a difference of $275,501.

To make up the remainder of the shortfall, the tentative budget uses $275,501 from the district’s fund balance for capital improvements.

Dana Siford, director of finance and school service, said the budget does not include program or personnel cuts.

She added there are a few positions that may be converted into different types of roles, but the details of these have not been finalized yet. 

“Our HR director will be meeting with these two or three individuals this week, which is why the details are not finalized as of today,” Siford said in an email Monday.

The 3.1 percent tax increase equals about 0.5698 mills, bringing the tax millage rate to 18.9492.

Siford estimated the value of a mill currently is about $2,460,124, based on Allegheny County's reassessed property values. Depending on the outcome of property appeals, this figure could still fluctuate up or down, she said.

The budget will now be on display to the public at the district administrative offices as well as on the Pine-Richland website at www.pinerichland.org.

Officials are expected to adopt a finalized budget at the June 10 school board meeting.

The Property Factor

As is, the budget as is still presents a number of assumptions and estimates because of Allegheny County property reassessments, according to the district.

“A challenging circumstance for all public school districts in Allegheny County this year has been the impact of the county-wide property reassessment,” a district statement on the budget said.

In 2012, Allegheny County completed a court ordered reassessment of residential and commercial property values. These values will be used by the Pine-Richland School District for tax bills issued on July 1, 2013.

To prevent a windfall of revenue, the district is required to reduce its current millage rate.

Adding to the complexity of the budgeting process, there are still hundreds of assessment appeals filed and unresolved with Allegheny County.

“Resolution of these appeals continually changes the total assessed value for our community,” the district statement said.

The district will continue to monitor the results of these appeals over the next few weeks and will adjust all real estate tax revenue calculations accordingly.

Thoughts on this year’s proposed budget? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Richland Parent May 08, 2013 at 03:00 AM
How can they vote on this proposed budget when there is no contract between the district and the teachers? Will the budget change if the teachers receive pay increases in the next contract or does the board already know the teachers will get a pay freeze and the budget is pretty much set?
PR Proud May 08, 2013 at 01:48 PM
It is appalling that there is any tax increase at all in Pine-Richland this year, when our district leadership continues to spend ridiculous amounts of money on the inane. My salary did not rise 3.1 % this year, but my property assessment sure did. It is inconceivable to me that our district administrators were supplied with district-paid smartphones, given a nice raise, given extra vacation time, and given the option of not reporting to the workplace (supposedly under the premise of "working" from home) at a time when fiscal belt tightening needs to be of the highest priority. We initiated furloughs last year, but retained all employees even creating non-teaching jobs for all. Plus, we created even more staff positions. Yet, we dismiss our superintendent,who immediately resigns with a phenomenal compensation package and is granted an additional raise for not leading. Yet, too, we have an unresolved teachers contract that will be an "albatross around our necks" for our next budget- especially when the precedent has been set with irresponsible administrative salary/benefit packages. Our district is a mess right now, devoid of any responsible leadership. We will never be able to "right this ship" until we utilize our staff and facilities to their maximum capabilities- cutting wasteful spending before rubber stamping another of what promises to be, an endless series of tax increases.
E.T. Henderson May 13, 2013 at 05:12 AM
First, I apologize to those who moved into this district because it is known as an elite school district. I realize that most of you have lots of dreams for your children and will do what ever it takes to meet them.  26 years ago when we moved here both of us had jobs and savings.  The taxes were 600 for school, 200. For county.. After layoffs for both of us income went from 50,000  in 1994 to the current amount of 22,000.  We get no raises and no benefits and we have no union to keep our jobs and make demands for us. Last year school taxes were over 2 grand county 1100.  Average the wages earned in both towns, Richland is an older population income 30 to 50 thousand.  Pine is younger and has a higher income.  I say no to your budget solution of raising taxes AGAIN, it is not on the table . Just say no, to pay raises and free health care wasteful spending on new buildings.  Use your imagination, be creative.  Change the school day. Use empty spaces in the community. Kids come in at different times. Offer school year round, do a trimester set it up as colleges do,  use home computer classes for subjects that kids can learn on their own.  Do your own charter school.  Lose classes that do not meet todays technologies.  .  Sports and 13 million dollar stadiums,  those days are over.  School districts have too much power, residents should have to vote on any tax increase.  you need to meet what the tax payers can afford to pay. E Henders
E.T. Henderson May 13, 2013 at 05:14 AM
Right on!

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