Mars school district could raise taxes

April 13, 2018 Cranberry Breaking News

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ADAMS TOWNSHIP - In an effort to maintain the current level of education in the next school year, Mars School District officials on Tuesday said they will ask the school board to consider a millage increase later this spring.

During a finance meeting Tuesday, Jill Swaney, district business manager, said revenue in the tentative 2018-19 budget is expected to be $48.36 million. This would leave the district with a $1.5 million deficit, she said. She added though this is a common deficit to begin a school year, with revenue and expenses fluctuating to a break-even point, there is still a gap to be filled.

“The goal is to break even, and history will show that is generally what happens in the Mars School District,” she said.

Swaney said the board will be asked for a 2.38 mill increase, which would generate an additional $610,000. One mill is equal to $256,566, and the current millage rate for the district is 99 mills.

The district hasn't increased the millage in 10 years, Swaney said. That's because natural tax growth generated sufficient funding.

The proposed budget would allow for curriculum changes to continue in the district, as well as additional staff and programming for the special education program.

It also includes funding for students to attend the Junior ROTC program at Pine-Richland High School, and the expansion of the guidance program. Additionally, Swaney said an upcoming middle school construction project will benefit from the increased millage.

The board will discuss the tentative budget in May, after which it will be up for public review for 30 days.

A final budget vote is anticipated in June.

A full story will appear in Sunday's Cranberry Eagle.

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