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Waynesboro School Board adopts resolution for 2007-08 tax hikes

January 17, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Taxes for residents of the Waynesboro Area School District will not increase more than 3.33 mills for the 2007-08 school year.

The Waynesboro Area School Board unanimously adopted a resolution Tuesday stating that the district will keep tax increases for the 2007-08 school year within an adjusted index of 4.4 percent, or 3.33 mills.

Waynesboro Superintendent of Schools Barry Dallara said the administration estimates that 3.33 mills will generate about $215,000 districtwide.

Dallara said the resolution is not a guarantee that taxes will increase 3.33 mills.

"We don't have to raise taxes by 4.4 percent, that is just the maximum," Dallara said.

Caroline Dean, business manager, said Pennsylvania's Act 1 requires the district to either adopt a resolution saying it would stay within the index or prepare a preliminary budget by Jan. 25. If the board thinks it could not stay within the index, Act 1 would require the district to put the request for the higher tax increase before voters in May, she said.

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Dean said Act 1 specifies exceptions to the index, many of which could apply to the district. In a letter to the board of directors, Dean and Dallara said based on the exceptions in Act 1, "the district could implement a millage increase significantly above the adjusted index without requiring a referendum." However, the letter stated that the administration did not recommend raising taxes more than 3.33 mills.

By adopting the resolution Tuesday, Dallara said the school district is able to prepare its budget by June instead of late January.

"Right now, the only data we have for the budget is historical data," Dallara said. "The administration said let's pass the resolution, live within the index and prepare a better budget by June."

President Larry Glenn said the board voted for the resolution because it trusts the administration to keep within the index.

"The administration says it can be done," Glenn said. "It will be difficult, but I believe it can be done."

Dean said she will submit the resolution to the state by Jan. 25 and begin working on the budget for consideration in June.

Also, the Rev. Lee Daywalt was sworn in as a school board member Tuesday night. He was appointed by the board last week to replace Todd Rock, who resigned in December.

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