Electronic tax

Pleasant Valley Approves 3.5% Tax Increase – Times News Online

Published on July 02, 2022 at 07:19

In a 6-3 vote, the Pleasant Valley School Board approved a 3.5% tax increase for the 2022-2023 school year at a special meeting Thursday night. The other option was a 2.9% tax increase.

Both increases would raise additional funds for the reserve fund for infrastructure and school building renovations, but the 0.6% difference alone is expected to bring in $300,000.

In total, the 3.5% increase will bring $52.3 million to the school district, of which $600,000 will go to the capital reserve fund.

Business manager Michael Simonetta said in a presentation before the vote that the impact of the two tax scenarios on property taxes really comes down to a difference of $1 a month.

For a property with a net assessment of $139,000, the tax impact of the 3.5% increase is an additional $114 per year, or broken down monthly, $9 per month. The impact of the 2.9% increase would have been $95 per year or $8 more per month.

When it came time to vote, school board president Sue Kresge said the decision was difficult.

“It’s very difficult for me for some reason,” she said, and voted no on the 3.5% increase.

After the vote, she said, “Just to clarify, I would have voted for the 2.9 percent.”

School board principals Todd Kresge and Delbert Zacharias joined her in voting against.

Todd Kresge said he voted no because people feel the burden of extra spending due to inflation.

“I look at old people. They are finally getting an increase in their social security, and we are demanding it,” he said.

School board director Norman Burger, chairman of the finance committee, said he voted for the 3.5% also because of inflation, but not in the same way.

Burger worries about the effects of inflation on spending on school district infrastructure and renovation projects. The high school building alone is 62 years old, he said.

“Inflation doesn’t seem to be going down. There is uncertainty in state funding, uncertainty related to the Supreme Court fair funding case, and we need to build our reserve,” Burger said.

Superintendent James Konrad said the two options presented to council had been reviewed and discussed, and both would generate additional revenue for capital projects.

“We know that the quality of buildings is also going to impact the learning environment for students,” Konrad said in an interview.

Konrad believes the additional revenue over the next year will help the school district keep pace with rising costs for materials, labor and other related construction expenses.

“I think it’s a very wise investment knowing that these projects continue to cost extra money year after year,” he said. “I am happy to see that we are on the right track to have the financial resources to reinvest the money in the buildings, which ultimately has an impact on the children. We want to make sure they have safe and modern facilities.

Simonetta said he was leaning towards the 3.5% increase because his goal was for the school board to consider the situation regarding facilities and build the reserve of funds in order to prepare for future debt.

Simonetta said he plans to write a capital projects overview in the near future to prioritize projects and assign projected dollar amounts.