PCSD Board contemplates tax increase | ParkRecord.com

PCSD Board contemplates tax increase

Megan Yeiter , The Park Record

The deadline is quickly approaching when the Park City School District will set its budget for the 2012-2013 school year. According to Park City School Board President Moe Hickey, the Board is getting close to finalizing numbers. School Board members have been analyzing the budget since February.

The next school board meeting is scheduled June 19. It seems that Board members have realized that a property tax increase is needed to balance the school district’s budget. Now the question is, by how much? In the most recent board meeting, members talked about what the budget would look like with a $4 million property tax increase.

Increasing property taxes by a larger number would allow the school district to balance its budget for several years, including the added cost of employee negotiations. A property tax increase is the main discussion item on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

Earlier this year, the Board assigned Park City School District Superintendent Ray Timothy the task of coming up with $5 million in recommended budget cuts. Timothy was able to recommend $4.3 million in cost savings to the district, but advised the Board not to make further cuts to protect the caliber of education in the school district.

Timothy calculated $1.3 million in savings through a revised health insurance plan, but according to Park City School District Business Administrator Todd Hauber, this might not happen. Hauber said they will meet with the school district’s insurance provider before Tuesday’s meeting to discuss options for a new health insurance policy and potential savings.

Retirement and health cost increases drive up operating costs and therefore lower the savings proposed, he said, adding that the school district is focusing on a multi-year budget, which will project revenues and expenditures over the course of five years.

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The school district has created a link on its website for community members to submit questions. There is also a "do-it-yourself" budget available on the website so community members can see what their property taxes might look like depending on the amount of the tax increase. Visit http://www.pcschools.us for more information.