New Castle News

Shenango

May 14, 2014

Shenango proposes budget with no tax hike

NEW CASTLE — The Shenango school board has introduced a $16.4 million budget that requires no tax increase.

The $16,447,678 spending plan for the 2014-15 school year is $627,886 higher than the current year’s budget.

All nine board members voted in favor of the proposal this week.

Superintendent Dr. Michael Schreck said the district’s payment to Pennsylvania’s Public School Employees Retirement System and an 11.1 percent hike in medical benefits account for the bulk of the spending increase.

The district’s cost for the pension system for the 2014-15 school year will be $722,302. It represents the district’s net cost after a 60 percent reimbursement from the state. The district’s cost for the current year is $534,843.

Next year’s cost toward the pension system is based on 21.4 percent of the total salary of district employees who contribute to PSERS. This year’s cost was based on 16.93 percent.

Schreck said the district anticipates that new revenue generated by the earned income tax will cover the spending increase.

He explained several items have allowed the district to cut expenses. For example, new teachers’ salaries are lower than those of teachers who have retired this year, he said.

The district’s property tax will remain at 12.36 mills. The budget will be on display at the district’s central office with final adoption planned for June 9.

The board also approved the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center’s budget of $6,103,534 for the 2014-15 school year. Shenango’s share of the budget is $509,378. This year’s share is $372,020, but Schreck said that figure will be adjusted based on the district’s total average daily membership.

(Email: jmanna@ncnewsonline.com)

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