New Castle News

Schools

May 14, 2014

Mohawk introduces 2014-15 budget

NEW CASTLE — The Mohawk school board introduced a budget with no tax increase, but that could change.

The plan anticipates expenditures of $24,002,357. This is a $2.2 million increase from the current year’s expenditures. The increase, according to board secretary/business manager Janet Crum, is a result of increased debt service obligations, retirements and a 12 percent increase in health costs.

Crum said the second reading of the budget will be at the June 16 meeting. At that time, she explained, the board will determine if it will raise taxes. Crum said the last property tax increase was in the 2009-2010 budget when millage went from 12.35 to the current 13.09 mills.

Crum said three bond issues were needed when the high school was renovated. She said two of them have been refinanced, saving the district significant money over the years.

One bond was refinanced in 2012, resulting in a $128,000 savings in the debt service. A second bond was refinanced in the 2012-13 school year, saving the district $471,941 and covering both bond payments.

However in the 2014-15 school year, bond repayments will jump to $1.716 million. She said the district has prepared for this jump.

Crum said the higher pension costs are based on requirements to pay 21.4 percent of the total salary of district employees . This year the district paid 16.93 percent.

If board members determine an increase is needed, the district will be limited to a 0.39 mill increase. This is the maximum increase permitted by the index set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Any higher increase would require voter approval.

The board also approved the 2014-15 Lawrence County Career and Technical Center budget of $6,103,534. The district’s share is about $368,000, based on 32 students attending the vo-tech school.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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