New Castle News

Local News

June 19, 2014

Wilmington school board rases taxes

NEW CASTLE — The Wilmington school board narrowly approved a $26.2 million budget with a tax hike.

Voting in favor of the budget and tax increase at Monday’s meeting were Robert Curry, Bo DiMuccio, Lynn Foltz, Carol Harris and Joseph Kolar.

Voting against were Jennifer Hunt, Autumn Miller, Kathryn Riley and William Taylor.

The 2014-15 spending plan totals $26,241,307. It anticipates revenues of $18,722,090 and a beginning committed fund balance of $7,519,217.

It estimates $9,080,594 in revenue from local sources, which includes $5,995,643 in local real estate taxes, $9,586,496 from state sources and $55,000 from federal sources.

Effective July 1, the real estate tax hike will raise millage from 13.3 to 14.19 in Lawrence County.

Mercer County residents of the district will pay 63.44 mills, up from the current 62.6.

The rates are not the same because of different assessment calculations in each county, but residents of both counties pay a similar amount, according to district business manager Jennifer Conrad.

She said the tax increase will cost about $89 per year on a home that is assessed at $100,000.

The average home in the district is assessed at $111,500, which would mean a $99 per year average increase.

School officials said earlier this year the hike was above the 2.8 percent state increase index and needed Pennsylvania Department of Education approval in order to take place without a voter referendum.

That increase, officials said, is based on rises in the cost of retirement and special education.

The district’s last tax increase was two years ago.

Also at the meeting, two administrators were reassigned, although their salaries were not changed.

High school co-principal Bob Kwiat was reassigned to elementary principal.

Elementary principal Ken Jewell was reassigned to director of student affairs and operations.

George Endrizzi will remain as middle school principal. Ben Fennick will remain as sole high school principal.

(Email: grzebieniak@ncnewsonline.com)

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