In the last installment in my series on the preliminary school budget, I want to discuss the proposed property tax increase of one mill. As you may be aware, the school district is currently in litigation. The litigation was brought against the school district concerning the occupational tax. The occupational tax is assessed against your occupation. How your occupation is assessed determines how much you pay in occupational tax. Currently the schol district receives a little over $300,000 in revenue from the occupational tax. The lawsuit brought against the school asks for an injunction preventing the school from collecting the occupational tax. This would put a $300,000 "hole" in our budget. Even worse for the school district, if the school district loses the lawsuit, then it would be required to forfeit all occupational taxes collected since 2007...that would be almost one million dollars. The prudent course of action for the school district is to try to raise revenue in case the district loses the lawsuit. However, because of the provisions of Act 1, the school district cannot raise property taxes high enough to offset the potential loss of revenue. I hope you can understand the difficult situation this places the school district in. The district may lose close to a million dollars but it cannot raise funds to offset the loss. Losing the lawsuit would have a devestating impact on the education of our students.
With all of that being said, with a one mill tax increase, a person who has their property assessed at $100,000 would realize a $50.00 increase in property taxes. One mill brings the school district about $90,000 in revenue. As I have mentioned many times this week, this is a preliminary budget and circumstances may change before the final adoption of the budget in June. I present all of this information about the budget to give you as much information as possible.