Friday, July 11, 2014

Proposed Dallas District budget would raise taxes

January 13. 2014 11:45PM
GERI GIBBONS Times Leader Correspondent

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DALLAS TWP. — District Business Manager Grant Palfey presented the Dallas School District’s proposed preliminary 2014-2015 budget on Monday that if passed would result in an increase in property taxes of 4.6 percent.

The proposal reflected revenues and expenses of $34.76 million.

Palfey expressed frustration with the necessity of the increase as a result to limited state and federal funding available to the district.

“With federal sources contributing only 2.24 percent and state sources 29.96 percent, the burden falls to district residents,” said Palfey.

Board member Bruce Goeringer said the increased burden was caused, in part, by the pension structure mandated by the state.

“Should the state be willing to change its multiplier from 2.5 percent to 2.0 percent, the problem would effectively solved,” said Goeringer, referring to pension costs as exorbitant.

Board member Karen Kyle said it was unfortunate it was necessary to draft the proposed budget early in the year, without the benefit of knowing exactly what state and federal funds would be available to the district in the upcoming year.

Palfey said the district has cut costs in recent years, but it has retained a commitment to high-quality education reflected in its standardized testing scores.

In another matter, Rosaria Shaver addressed the board regarding its proposal to hold this year’s and future graduations indoors.

Approximately 40 parents attended the meeting, mirroring Shaver’s desire to see its commencement ceremonies remain outdoors.

Scott Pertl said that as a parent of a senior he viewed graduation as a “milestone,” with an outdoor ceremony making it even more memorable, and allowing extended family members the opportunity to attend.

High School Principal Jeffrey Shaffer said there were concerns regarding the condition of the state and sound system, as well as security issues.

“This is not a done deal,” said Superintendent Frank Galicki. “This serves to open future discussion on the issue.”

Also, the bpproved payment of $68,449 to Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, marking its final payment on its construction of the new high school.

The next meeting of board will be on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m.

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