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Tamaqua on track for 1.3 mill increase

Published February 20. 2019 12:32PM

Tamaqua Area School District residents are likely to once again see an increase in their property tax rates.

The school board’s finance committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the 2019-2020 preliminary budget with a 1.23-mill increase.

The preliminary budget currently calls for an estimated beginning fund balance of $4 million; revenue at $30,882,462; expenses at $32,092,224; an ending fund balance of $2,790,238; and a reserved fund balance of $222,860.

If the board were to adopt the 2019-20 budget with a 1.23-mill increase, it would raise the millage rate from 38.47 to 39.70 mills.

District business manager Connie Ligenza said that using $40,000 for an average median homestead property value, it would result in about a $40 increase to the average taxpayer.

Ligenza said the value of 1 mill is $371,911. She said the index is 3.2 percent, but said there are no exceptions the district is allowed to apply for.

Salaries make up $12,326,912, or 38 percent, while benefits are $10,071,443, or 31 percent, of the budget.

The board has until June to grant final budget adoption.

In June, the board approved the $30,995,379 budget for this school year, which called for a 5 percent tax increase.

That tax rate helped cover increases in the district’s contribution to the PSERS and the cost of cyber school education for students living in the district.

That final budget included just one additional teaching position, in the district’s special education department.

The board also agreed to take $1,558,272 from its fund balance in order to balance that budget so that the district would have $2,327,455 in its fund balance.

These "politicians" have to get off their asses and stop this thievery. It's been ridiculous for years now.

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