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1 Franklin school unit raises taxes

June 20, 1997

By RICHARD F. BELISLE

Staff Writer, Waynesboro

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Taxes in the Chambersburg Area School District will go up next year to pay for a $1 million budget increase, while school officials in three southern Franklin County districts managed to hold the line on taxes in spite of larger budgets next year.

The hike represents about a $32-a-year tax increase for an average property owner in the Chambersburg district, said Marvin Rife, assistant business manager for the district.

The school board adopted the budget and the tax increase Wednesday night.

The district's taxpayers will pay 4.5 mills more in school taxes next year, to a total of 120.5 mills. The money will help finance a $51.7 million budget to run the 8,000-student district, the county's largest.

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The last increase in the mill rate was in 1995. A mill represents $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property.

The school budget for 1996 was $49.8 million, about 3.9 percent lower than this year's, Rife said.

The new money will be spent on:

  • upgrades in the classroom computers
  • the first payments on a 10-year construction bond issue that includes an addition to Hamilton Heights Elementary School
  • the start of renovations on the Schoeneman factory property
  • a 4.5 percent salary increase for the district's nearly 440 teachers
  • 23 new staff positions, including classroom and special education teachers, support staff and a psychologist, Rife said.


The district is expecting 136 new students next year, he said.

The budget for the Waynesboro Area School District will go up 3.5 percent next year to $30 million. There will be no tax hike, said Jack Kennedy, business manager for the district.

The money will pay for capital projects and salaries, he said.

The district has 4,300 students and 272 teachers.

Taxpayers in the Greencastle/Antrim School District will see their school budget jump from $16.7 million this year to $17.2 million next year, a hike of 3.2 percent, said William Needy, district business manager.

The new money will pay for "normal operations," Needy said.

He said the board avoided a tax hike by pulling money from its year-end surplus.

"We usually have a tax increase every year. We've been hearing a lot of good comments this year," he said.

The increase will pay for computers in classrooms and the middle school library and for salaries, Needy said.

Greencastle/Antrim has 2,427 students.

Tuscarora School District covers the Mercersburg, Pa., area in southwestern Franklin County. That district's budget is going up by about $8,000 next year. The current mill rate of 165 will stay in place.

The school board found money in the year-end surplus and from increases in assessed property.

The district has 2,600 students and 177 teachers.

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