CANONSBURG – Canon-McMillan School Board approved its 2013-14 preliminary budget Monday night with a 1-mill property tax increase that district officials hope won’t be included in the final draft.
The tentative $65.62 budget would raise the tax rate to 108 mills and increase spending by about 5 percent over last year because of growing expenses with the state-mandated pension contributions.
Eric Kline was the only school director to vote against the preliminary budget, which is now on display to the public before it will be formally approved next month.
Joni Mansmann, the school district’s manager, said the reason for a potential tax hike is mainly tied to a 4 percent increase in the contribution to the Public School Employees’ Retirement System, or PSERS, account. However, Mansmann said the budget numbers are still fluid and the school district might be able to avoid a tax increase.
“Ours was a lot closer than I expected it to be,” Mansmann said.
There was also a 3 percent pay raise to the nurses at the all of the district’s schools, although Mansmann said that number was lower than what had been anticipated. She expects more concrete numbers across the board before the school board is expected to vote on the final budget on June 17.
“It was my original hope we could remove the 1-mill tax increase,” Mansmann said. “It depends on those final numbers.”
One mill raises about $350,000 in revenue for the school district. A 1-mill increase would cost the average property owner in Canonsburg an additional $10.65 per year, while those in Cecil and North Strabane townships would pay $20.75 and $26.50 more, respectively. Those figures are based on an average assessed property value of $42,500 in Canonsburg, $83,000 in Cecil and $105,000 in North Strabane.