WELLSBORO - School district taxpayers, at least those who live in Tioga County, likely will see their school taxes rise by about 1.4 percent next year, according to new figures released by the district.
According to the figures in the $22.1 million 2012-13 budget, which has been posted on the district's website, the tax millage rate will increase to the Act 1 index in Tioga County, but decrease in Pine Township, Lycoming County.
In Tioga County, millage will rise from 16.38 to 16.80, raising taxes on a property owner with assessed value of $100,000 by $42.
In Lycoming County, that same homeowner will see taxes decrease by $72.
According to the district, the increase in Tioga County is needed to make up a $292,809 deficit.
One mill of tax revenue generates $597,458, so the .42 increase will generate less than half that, or about $202,000.
According to Superintendent Chris Morral, whose contract recently was renewed for another five years at $119,000, the governor's cutbacks in his 2012 budget are the reason taxes need to go up for local taxpayers.
"On Feb. 7, Gov. Tom Corbett presented the budget reducing the basic education funding reimbursements to 2008-09 levels," he said.
That was done "despite ongoing demands to improved achievement for all students," he added.
Special education reimbursements also received the same amount of funding as for the past five years.
Morral said the district reduced capital improvements from $400,000 to $300,000.
"We felt it was more important to keep personnel and maintain programs," Morral added.
The district will leave in the list a $250,000 paving project. The recent re-roof project of the administration building cost nearly $300,000.
Other projects being delayed are the soccer wing field, saving $20,000.
The district will continue to pursue its $4 million stadium project, however, Morral said.
"We fully anticipate moving ahead with the stadium project at zero cost to taxpayers, and we are launching a capital campaign and we fully anticipate raising $4 million. It will require a huge amount of community involvement but it is an important project," he said.
The district also is "looking at our middle school unified arts programs," Morral said.
"We are looking at curtailing some of those courses to make them longer, nine weeks as opposed to six, and tailoring them to lead them into the courses at the high school," he added.
Early retirements could save the district up to $192,000, he added.
In the past week, the state Senate introduced legislation that will restore about $500 million to the governor's budget but that includes both public school funding and some post-secondary school funding that also had been removed.
It still is not clear if that will happen, as the final budget does not have to be approved and signed into law by the governor until June 30.