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WVW Budget Proposal Calls For Tax Increase

February 14, 2019

KINGSTON — The property tax rate in the Wyoming Valley West School District would increase 4.7 percent, according to a preliminary budget proposed by the school board Wednesday.

The increase would exceed the state index amount of 3.2 percent, and the district will seek an exception amount for the tax increase based on special education costs, Finance Manager Louis Cardoni said.

The state establishes an index amount each year for school districts based on various factors. School districts can exceed index amounts with voter approval through a referendum or by getting exceptions for certain costs approved by the state.

The board is required to adopt a final budget for 2019-20 and a property tax rate by June 30. The preliminary budget would allocate

$80 million.

The proposed tax increase would raise the tax rate to 17.55 mills. A mill is $1 on every $1,000 in property assessment.

The district expects to pay $23,500 to Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority for a new stormwater fee, said Joe Rodriguez, former finance director and district consultant. Officials plan to appeal that amount, which is based on the amount of impervious surface area on district property.

The authority is charging the new stormwater fee to comply with a federal requirement to reduce pollution that drains into the Chesapeake Bay from the Susquehanna River.

Property tax revenue is expected to drop by $355,500 because total value of all property assessment in the district in down $20 million, Rodriguez said. The decrease is from successful assessment appeals.

Contact the writer:

mbuffer@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer