The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

May 9, 2013

Lewisburg school board mulls tax increase

— LEWISBURG — Lewisburg Area School District residents won’t know until month’s end what the real estate tax increase will be for 2013-14. The school board decided Thursday night to study at least two more percentage options before making a decision.

Last week, the Department of Education approved Lewisburg’s exception request, setting its real estate index at 4.4 percent. Its usual maximum is 2.3 percent.

In his 2013-14 budget presentation, Superintendent Mark DiRocco offered the school board four tax increase options but recommended one, an increase of 3.7 percent.

But given recent budget struggles — Lewisburg has cut $1.4 million from its payroll over the last three years — DiRocco said the district simply cannot continue “horrific cuts in personnel” without harming programs.

“We can’t go in every year with real slim contingencies,” he said of reserve funds.

That prompted director Mark Hendrickson to ask if not raising taxes to the maximum increase “is treading water.”

“We need to look at and study (the 4.4 percent increase) more,” he said. “If we’re getting to the point with no more fat to cut off the bone, we owe it at the very least to look at both options.”

Board President Kathy Swope asked Business Manager Ron Kabonick to draw up two more scenarios between 3.7 percent and 4.4 percent to consider. She said Lewisburg has never raised taxes to the maximum index allowed.

“Historically, we’ve tried to work with the community and balance with its needs,” Swope said. “We’ve always considered that because the community has been very good to us.”

The 3.7 percent option is still on the table. It would equal a 0.58-mill increase, pushing the rate from 15.48 mills to 16.06 mills. On a property with a $134,200 assessed value, for example, the increase would be $77.84 a year.

This budget has an unknown factor that could prove to be a large sum of money: how much state funding Lewisburg will receive. Lewisburg stands to get $78,755 for its basic education subsidy; however, that subsidy isn’t guaranteed and has been trimmed, if not cut altogether, in previous state budgets.

DiRocco said sources in Harrisburg indicate state budget negotiations, which started this week, will go down to the wire June 30.

Given the uncertainty of those funds — and also what Gov. Tom Corbett will do if his proposed revamping of retirement funding doesn’t happen — the school board won’t consider them in figuring final numbers.

The school district’s 2013-14 budget stands at $29.1 million with a $277,814 deficit. The board must adopt a budget at month’s end to give the public time to review it before final adoption by June 30.

1
Text Only
News
  • Accident victims remain in critical condition this morning

    DANVILLE - Victims from serious traffic accidents the past two days remain in critical condition this morning at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.

    April 18, 2014

  • Porn prank riles Bucknell University president

    LEWISBURG — A fake email that contained a link to a pornographic website was sent to Bucknell students, faculty and staff on Tuesday night.

    April 18, 2014

  • 28-mile cross walk steps off in Northumberland

    SUNBURY — Two “cross walks” this morning, including a 28-mile trek from Northumberland to Beaver Springs, are among the highlights of Easter activities and services in the Valley.

    April 18, 2014

  • rsstrike18a.jpg Picketing begins at four Danville schools

    DANVILLE — It started like any other school day during the year, with teachers up early and arriving at school at 7:30 in the morning.

     

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Line Mountain board, teachers to talk Tuesday

    MANDATA — Line Mountain school board President Troy Laudenslager is far more optimistic this week than he has been as the board and the Line Mountain Education Association head into their first contract negotiation session in three months.

    April 18, 2014

  • Good Morning Central Susquehanna Valley

    Today is Good Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year. On April 18, 1934, the first laundromat (called a “Washateria”) was opened by John F. Cantrell in Fort Worth, Texas; four electric washing machines were rented to members of the public on an hourly basis.

    April 18, 2014

  • Injured bicyclist can't believe car didn't stop

    SUNBURY — Brandon Reigle has one question for the driver and passengers who left him in the middle of the road after hitting the bicyclist with a car Wednesday: Why?

    April 17, 2014

  • Petitions target 'toxic few' on Midd-West board

    MIDDLEBURG — More than 400 names have been gathered on two petitions to remove a pair of Midd-West school directors after some members of the public claimed the district has been in disarray for quite some time.

    April 17, 2014

  • crash18.jpg Snyder County collision injures driver, kills two horses

    PORT TREVORTON — A car struck two horses on a rural road in Snyder County Thursday afternoon, injuring the driver and resulting in the death of the horses.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Strike17.jpg Danville teachers hit picket lines

    DANVILLE - It started like any other school day during the year, with teachers up early and arriving at school at 7:30 in the morning.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee
Poll

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.