Board OKs $38.6M budget

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Area School Board approved the 2012-13 general fund budget with no tax increase at Wednesday’s voting meeting.

The board voted 6-1 to approve the $38,650,241 budget, with board President Gary Conrad, Vice-President Francis J. Molinaro and board members Lesa Conner, Jim Baun, Melissa Snyder and Roberta Dinsmore voting yes, and Jack White voting no.

Board members Penny Pifer and Bob Pascuzzo were excused from Wednesday’s meeting.

The school board of directors, by virtue of authority vested in the directors of the school district by Act 511 of 1965 and the school laws of Pennsylvania shall, set for the 2012-13 school year the following taxes:

• Per Capita School Laws Section 679 — $5.

• Per Capita Act 511– $5.

• Earned Income Tax Act 511 — one percent.

• Occupational Assessment Tax Act 511 — 600 mills.

• Real Estate Transfer Tax Act 511 — One percent.

• The Real Estate Tax Levy for the 2012-13 school year will be levied at 24.592 mills for Jefferson County and 89.765 mills for Indiana County.

Business Manager Susan Robertson said despite the fact there was an increase in millage for residents who live in Indiana County, it was due to the equalization law, not for revenue.

Conrad said what the board approved is a balanced budget.

“When we did the preliminary budget, we were to take $1,750,000 from out of our reserve fund,” he said, and if the district receives $500,000 from the state, the district will be in the black.

Robertson said the district did not raise the amount of tax millage revenue for the district, but with the equalization law, and because the district spans two counties, the Indiana County millage increased.

“The amount of taxes that have been calculated out will remain the same. Normally, we do not reopen our budget if there’s increased revenue, however, the board does have that option once the governor’s budget is approved by the legislature,” she said.

Dinsmore said regardless of Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget, the board has 15 days after adoption to reopen the budget.

“It would be great to receive that additional money, but the district is not depending on it to balance our budget,” Robertson said.

The board also approved the homestead/farmstead exclusion real estate tax assessment reduction for the school year beginning July 1 equal to $7,939 for Jefferson County and $2,174 for Indiana County for each approved homestead and farmstead within the district.