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Waynesboro School District faces $1 million deficit

April 12, 2002|BY RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Area School District is facing a budget deficit next year of more than $1 million and taxpayers will be called on to foot the difference.

Jack Kennedy, business manager for the district, said it's the worst deficit he has seen in the 38 years he has worked for the district.

The deficit is expected to translate into a 5 mill tax hike for district taxpayers, Kennedy said.

Preliminary figures show that the district's expenses for the next fiscal year will be $34,510,000. The projected income will be $33,510,000, he said.

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The school board is expected to adopt the budget June 25, he said.

Each mill represents about $135,000 in income for the district. A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of property assessment.

Kennedy said a property owner with a house carrying an average assessment should expect to pay an additional $35 a year if the board approves the tax hike.

A cutback in state financial aid to Pennsylvania's 500-plus local school districts is a major cause for Waynesboro's deficit, Kennedy said.

It will cost the local district about $300,000 to make up the difference, he said.

Another $400,000 will have to be made up in the district's contribution to the state employees' pension fund, which covers teachers, he said. State lawmakers last year raised the benefits for retirees. A hike in medical insurance premiums for employees is also going to cost an additional $400,000, he said.

Not included in the budget proposal is an expected increase in teacher salaries. The board is currently in negotiations with the Waynesboro Area Education Association.

The teachers' current four-year contract ends June 30.

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