73° F

Bangor Area School District to keep taxes within state cap

Published On: Jan 28 2013 11:29:35 PM EST
Bangor Area School District

While Bangor Area School District officials do not yet have a firm idea on what the tax rate for the 2013-14 school year will be, one thing is certain: taxes will not increase by more than 2.2%.

The district Board of School Directors on Monday night adopted a resolution to notify the Pennsylvania Department of Education that the district will not seek to increase taxes by more than the 2.2% cap set by the state.

“We could come in lower than that amount, but we won’t go any higher than that,” Board President Pamela Colton said. “We do know for certain it will be somewhere between zero and 2.2.”

If the board had decided to seek a tax increase higher than the cap, state law would have required the board to have the higher increase approved by voter referendum.

The district administration is currently developing the 2013-14 preliminary budget.

Business Manager Steve Wiencek said the district is in the process of answering three questions that will be major factors in determining the tax rate: pending teacher contract negotiations; pending support staff contract negotiations; and Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed state budget, including school aid, that is expected to be unveiled in early-February.

“Once we know the governor’s budget, we’ll have a better idea where we’re at,” Wiencek said.

Acting Superintendent Frank DeFelice said a preliminary budget will likely be presented to the board in late-February. The deadline for adopting the final budget is the end of June.

In other budget-related matters addressed during Monday night’s meeting, the board approved its contribution to the Career Institute of Technology vocational-technical school, which serves Bangor and four other districts.

The proposed 2013-14 CIT budget of $8.1 million includes a $1.1 million contribution from the Bangor district.

CIT Administrative Director Ronald R. Roth said during a recent presentation that the projected costs to the five districts are actually less than the increases in the overall operating budget. This is due, he said, to expected increases in subsidies and other revenues.

The Bangor board also voted to approve a contribution of $418,000 to Northampton Community College for 2013-14.