Wyoming Area Mulls 3.1 Percent Tax Hike

May 28, 2019

The property tax rate for the Wyoming Area School District would increase 3.1 percent, according to a proposed $36.5 million budget.

If a 3.1 percent tax increase is approved, the tax rate for the Luzerne County properties in West Pittston, Exeter, Wyoming, West Wyoming and Exeter Twp. would jump to 16.9595 mills. A mill is $1 on every $1,000 in property assessment.

The rate for properties in Exeter Twp., Wyoming County, would be 82.5266 mills. An equalization process is used because the district includes municipalities from different counties with different assessment systems and values.

In February, the school district was looking at a 5.75 percent tax hike and asked for state approval to exceed the state index amount — 3.1 percent — based on exception amounts from special education costs for students with disabilities.

The state establishes an index amount each year for school districts based on various factors. School districts can exceed index amounts with voter approval through a referendum or by getting exceptions for certain costs approved by the state.

The proposed budget would allocate almost $36.5 million in expenditures and generate nearly $35.8 million in revenue. If adopted, the district fund balance is projected to drop from almost $2.4 million when the fiscal year starts July 1 to nearly $1.7 million on June 30, 2020.

The board is required to adopt a final budget by June 30 for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The proposed budget would allocate $15.2 million for salaries and $10.4 million to fund employee benefits.

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