In addition with deciding whether or not to close Peebles Elementary school, the North Allegheny School board will have to grapple with a projected $5.76 million deficit for the 2013-2014 school year.
At the Dec. 19 board meeting, Michael Hopkins, Director of Finance, told the board outlined a half dozen reasons why the deficit had shrunk from a projected $8 million earlier in the year:
- A 3% decrease in the original projection of salaries.
- A decrease in the projected corresponding retirement and social security.
- A decrease based on a lower increase in medical insurance rates than anticipated.
- The maturation of two bonds, offset by increases due to amortizations.
- The Fund Balance allocation to cover the Early Retirement Incentive Program.
- Increased revenues from earned income tax collections because employers are now required to take that tax out of paychecks.
Hopkins emphasized that there is a significant amount of information not yet available, including projected revenues from reassements, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported.
"It's kind of like doing stuff in the dark here," board President Maureen Grosheider said.
State law prohibits school districts from taking any additional tax revenue from reassessments. At the same time, districts are now allowed to make up money lost by successful assessment appeals.
"If the assessments go up by 29 percent and we reduce our millage by 29 percent and appeals bring it down to 25 percent, we cannot make that up," board member Dan Hubert told the PG. "It's a double whammy."
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