Board to ask for exemption for tentative tax hike size

Southern Tioga School District voted to seek exceptions from the Pennsylvania Department of Education Wednesday night.

The board seeks exceptions to raise the taxes above the Act 1 index, which limits the amount that school districts may raise taxes, to support the district’s $30 million budget.

The approved preliminary budget calls for a tax increase from 14.2878 mills to 15.7325 mills in Lycoming County. In Tioga County the tax increase will go from 15.2313 mills to 16.8929 mills. That will result in a 1.4447 mill increase in Lycoming County, and a 1.6616 mill increase in Tioga County.

The millage difference would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 property an additional $144.47 a year in Lycoming County and $166.16 a year in Tioga County.

“That doesn’t say that we are actually going to increase taxes by that much, but in order to apply for exceptions we had to increase the millage above the index. Just to communicate to PDE that we are in need of additional revenues,” said Kathy Ciaciulli, business manager.

Once the Pennsylvania Department of Education rules on the exceptions the school board will know what the maximum amount is they can raise taxes, said Ciaciulli.

“We are hoping with the school closure and additional expenditure cuts we will not have to increase to the full amount, but I’m sure even (limiting the increase) to the index may be possible.” she added.