Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Sharpsville School Board Refuse to Reopen Budget

Despite Governor Ed Rendell's sweetheart re-election offer to school districts, the Sharpsville school board chose not to use that money to give taxpayers relief. The Greenville school board has been the only local board to do so.

According to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
The district’s state subsidy was $58,000 more than expected, and School Director Gerard Hanley said at last week’s work session that he wanted to see the extra money go back to the taxpayers.

Hanley made a motion at Monday’s meeting to re-open the 2006-2007 district budget to refund one mill of a two-mill tax hike. Each mill of taxes brings in about $60,000.

But Hanley was the only board member who voted to do so.
Kudos to Hanley for standing up for taxpayers!
“I’d love to give the people back the money,” said board member Burt DeVries after Monday’s meeting. “It just seemed like an impossible task.”

At the work session, district business manager Jaime Roberts gave the board several reasons the tax reduction was not feasible, including several items not budgeted for.

She mentioned a $37,000 decrease in earned income tax revenue to the district, capital improvements needed beyond a recent $500,000 loan and a 20-percent spike in electricity costs. She also said it would cost another $3,200 to mail out tax cards again.
Somehow I get the feeling that the residents wouldn't mind paying the postage bill to get a tax break....
Following Monday’s meeting, Hanley said he understood that the district did not know about the additional dollars until after their budget passed.

At that point, he said, there was still time to adjust the tax rate before sending out bills, which were mailed the first week of August. But he said he did not find out about the increased subsidy until several weeks after administrators did.
So, the administration failed to notify the school board that there were additional funds? Also, they could have reopened the budget a lot earlier, and saved that $3200 in postage?

Sounds like the voters in Sharpsville need to bring a little pressure upon their board members to reopen the contracts of the administrators.

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