New Castle News

January 18, 2012

Ellwood OKs budget, may hike taxes

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE —

The Ellwood City School Board has adopted a $25.4 million preliminary budget.

The $25,428,883 spending plan for the 2012-13 school year is $822,397 higher than the current budget.

The district is submitting an application to the state, seeking an exception to increase the property tax — if necessary — above the 2.4 percent limit set by the state, which is 0.38 mills.

If the exception is granted, the board could increase the tax by two mills without seeking voter approval, according to business manager Richard Zarone. That increase would generate about $800,000, he said.

The current property tax is 15.81 mills.

Zarone said most of the spending increase is attributed to a hike in health insurance premiums as well as in the district’s contribution to the retirement fund.

The contribution rate will increase from 8.65 percent to 12.36 percent of the district employees’ gross salaries. The Public School Employees’ Retirement System sets the rate