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Wyoming Area School District preliminary budget includes tax hike

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EXETER — Wyoming Area School District Manager Tom Melone presented a budget at Monday night’s meeting that featured a tax raise at the state limit of 2.6 percent.

The budget is intended to be the “final rough draft” prior to the June 30 deadline for the upcoming fiscal school year, according to Melone.

The millage rate will be 14.6304 for residents of the district who live in Luzerne County. A mill is $1 in tax on every $1,000 of assessed value.

“For the 2014-2015 year, as you can see, revenue came in just about on budget,” Melone stated. “We are still running on a minor shortfall, however, we are addressing this head-on.”

As with most school districts in Pennsylvania, funding has been tight across the board.

“We are luckier than many school districts, having had time to build a sizable fund balance to help offset shortfalls,” Melone added. “Our main concern is trying to minimize fund balance erosion.”

For the 2015-2016 year, it is speculated that the Wyoming Area will have approximately $31.6 million in revenue, and will be operating with a $1.6 million shortfall, similar to the 2014-2015 school year.

The final operating budget will be approved during the June meeting of the board.

Also discussed at the meeting was the presentation of the Outstanding Service Award to Wyoming Area graduating senior Brittany Thomas for her role as student body representative for the school board in both the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years.

“Being part of this school board and having this experience, I learned so much about education and life in general,” Thomas said. “I’ll definitely take that with me as I go on to college.”

Graduation for the high school will be held at 7 p.m. on June 12 at the football stadium. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. in the Wyoming Area Secondary Center.

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