The Penns Manor Board of Directors meeting was packed last night, and for good reason. Not only did the board announce its official – and controversial – property tax mill increase, but cafeteria workers and other support staff rallied together to talk about negotiations.
The budget is now official, and that budget includes a 12.66 mill increase for property taxes in the Penns Manor area. This brings the total millage to 120.22 mills. The average tax payer will now pay $1,167.34, which is an increase of $122.93 for the entire year. Acting superintendent, Daren Johnston, breaks it down.
"So then you have to sit and say, 'Well, that's basically $10 a month.' And so then you have to say to yourself, 'Well, if I'm investing in education, ten more dollars a month over the course of the next school year if I'm the average tax payer, that isn't so bad when you look at it that way.' But when you get the initial number of 12.66, you're thinking, 'My goodness! What are they thinking?'"
So what was the board thinking? Johnston says it’s not so crazy after all. He says Penns Manor is different from other school districts in the area because they actually generate less money per mill, meaning that sometimes increases like this simply have to happen.
That didn’t make it less painful for those in attendance, however. Many support staff had come to talk about better pay and the potential of getting rid of the private cafeteria manager in favor of managing the cafeteria in-house. It was a double-whammy, they said, to hear millage go up while also looking at a pay freeze or a reduction in pay.
2014-2015 Budget Summary
General Fund Revenues: $15,755,246
General Fund Expenses: $15,986,662
Decrease to Fund Balance: ($231,416)
Proposed Preliminary 2014-2015 Millage Rate: 120.22 mills
Per capita tax - Act 511: $5 per person
Per capita tax - Act 679: $5 per person
Real estate transfers: 0.5 percent
Wage tax: 0.75 percent on earned income
One mill generates approximately $26,580 of revenue.
Median assessed balue of property is $9,710.
Increase in mills = 12.66
Millage = 120.22
Average taxes paid yearly = $1,167.34
Average increase = $122.93