The Chartiers Valley preliminary budget up for vote next month gives school directors the option to raise property taxes later this year.
The preliminary budget is based on a .506 mill tax increase, which would add $50.60 to a property owner’s tax bill for every $100,000 of assessed value.
But this does not mean that higher taxes are imminent.
Rather, the preliminary budget puts the tax-hike option on the table as school directors try to craft a balanced final budget between now and the end of June.
“When we pass a preliminary budget, it is exactly that,” said School Board President Tony Mazzarini. “We can’t make decisions based on the numbers that we currently have. There are a lot of things that happen between now and June 30 when that budget will actually take place.”
Without a tax increase, the the district’s initial calcuations project a revenue shortfall of up to $3 million next year. However, that figure is based on assumptions regarding retirements, insurance costs, state subsidies, and other financial variables.
During the next few months, those assumptions will be replaced by real-world data that will inform the district’s budget decisions. The district will also analyze departmental funding requests to identify areas where expenses can be cut.
“Our goal is to manage this district as efficiently as we can,” Mazzarini said, “with the overall goal of educating children and having a safe environment to do that. But we also need to understand that it is a business and it has to run and it takes money to do that.”
Chartiers Valley’s current property tax rate is 16.6067 mills. That could rise to 17.1127 mills, depending on the outcome of the budgeting process.
Even with the tax hike, Chartiers Valley residents would pay a lower property tax rate than many other Allegheny County school districts:
|Upper St. Clair||25.1560|
The school board votes on the preliminary budget on Tuesday, Feb. 13.
You can review the entire preliminary budget here, or a summary here.
Photo: Via Chartiers Valley/Flickr