New Castle News

May 22, 2013

No tax hike in Union school budget

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Union Area School Board has introduced a $10.6 budget with no tax increase.

If the $10,585,494 spending plan is approved, it will be the third year without a tax increase in the district. The property tax is at 14.42 mills.

The vote on the proposed budget was unanimous at Monday’s meeting.

The budget reflects a $270,000 deficit and the plan is to offset that amount from the current $2.3 million fund balance, superintendent Dr. Alfonso “Butch” Angelucci explained.

“It is the board’s commitment to keep curricular and instructional expectations at a high level,” he said.

During the past year, there have been shortfalls in minimal state funding, he explained, adding the budget includes some cuts mainly through purchasing and instructional supplies, and paving.

There were no program cuts or personnel furloughs, Angelucci said.

The budget will be on display until the board meets June 24, at which time it will take final action on the spending plan.

Taxes for 2013-14 remain unchanged and include a per capita tax of $5, a 1 percent tax on wage and net profits, a $5 occupational privilege tax for those who work within the corporate limits of the school district and a 1 percent tax on real estate transfers.

Regarding the teachers contract, the superintendent explained the teachers union and school board are still in negotiations. The teachers contract with the district expires June 30.

Also at this week’s meeting the board:

•Approved a request from the Union Area Boosters to use school farm property for the Haunted Hayride fundraiser. It will be 7 to 11 p.m. each Friday and Saturday from Oct. 11 through 30. It has been about 15 years since the hayrides have taken place, Angelucci said. “This is a popular activity and attraction for the New Castle community and benefits the boosters.”

•Appointed Samantha Laverty to serve as board secretary for a four-year term ending June 30, 2017.

(Email: lhudson@ncnewsonline.com)