AP NEWS

Meyersdale school district considering a tax increase

May 3, 2019

On Wednesday, Meyersdale Area school board members unanimously approved the district’s preliminary 2019-20 budget, which includes a proposed 0.78-mill property tax increase.

The $15,129,259 budget could be finalized at the board’s June 5 meeting, but board President Ron Donaldson said he doesn’t want the tax increase to be passed, if possible.

Donaldson said the district put the tax increase in next year’s budget as a precautionary measure.

“We don’t want a tax increase if possible,” he said. “It’s only a preliminary budget, and they can easily take it off. But if we don’t put it on, then we can’t do anything with it.”

Last year, the board raised taxes by the same rate to cover rising health care costs, pensions and state-mandated programs. If the increase passes, the new property tax rate would be 24.66 mills.

The owner of a home with an assessed value of $50,000 would pay $39 more a year in property taxes.

Treasurer Tammy Witherite, who is also the budget and tax collection chairwoman, said that the preliminary budget cannot be increased and that allocations could still be cut.

“It is as high as we can go, but the budget could come down, and the tax increase can be taken off,” she said.

School districts have until June 30 to adopt a final budget.