Archive

ShareThis Page
Norwin School District considering real estate tax hike | TribLIVE.com
Westmoreland

Norwin School District considering real estate tax hike

Tribune-Review
| Monday, November 14, 2016 10:15 p.m.

Property owners in the Norwin School District are likely to face a real estate tax hike as high as 2.49 mills, equal to a 3.3 percent increase, to finance operations for the 2017-18 school year, school officials said Monday.

The school board is expected to vote Nov. 21 on a measure to allow the school district to raise taxes in the upcoming fiscal year to the state-permitted maximum of 2.49 mills to 77.69 mills in North Huntingdon, Irwin and North Irwin, which would generate about $870,000 in revenue, Jude Abraham, the district’s interim director of business affairs, said at the board’s workshop meeting.

The increase in tax revenue, in large part, is being driven by higher employee retirement costs, which Abraham said would be close to $1 million in the 2017-18 school year.

The school district could petition the state Department of Education for permission to raise the real estate taxes higher if necessary for certain exceptions, but only if needed to pay its portion of the state employee retirement costs or special education expenses, Abraham said. But, requesting a higher tax increase “you bring a lot of excess attention” to the district, Abraham said.

Norwin property owners saw their real estate taxes increased for the current school year by 2.25 mills to 75.20 mills in Westmoreland County and by 1.59 mills to 11.68 mills for the Allegheny County portion of the district —just 18 property owners in White Oak and South Versailles. The tax levy in the Westmoreland County portion of the district includes a 1.2-mill tax for the Norwin Public Library.

Superintendent William Kerr told the board the district does not intend to seek a waiver of the maximum permissible tax hike and has not in the past.

“We have had a lot of internal discussions to live within our means and stay within the 3.3 percent,” increase, Kerr said.

In order to reduce expenses, Kerr said he has notified the district staff that it can not make unbudgeted purchases except for emergency repairs or for high school graduation.

Kerr said he has notified the staff to expect the same level of funding in the upcoming year for all school buildings and positions. If there are any retirements or resignations, the administrations will look closely at whether to fill those positions, the superintendent said.

Because of the changes in the state formula for funding basic education subsidies school districts receive, Kerr said it appears that Norwin will only get a 1.5 percent increase in state aid, rather than the 3 percent increases it received under the previous formula.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.