Penn Cambria budget shows $1M deficit

CRESSON — Penn Cambria School Board members this week approved a tentative 2017-18 general fund budget, which includes a more than $1 million deficit but forgoes a real estate tax increase.

“It is a fiscally conservative budget that maintains programs in the district,” district business manager Sandra Evans said.

The budget, which “is the culmination of many months of work,” predicts the district’s total 2017-18 expenditures at $24,872,003, Evans said.

However, revenue is projected at only $23,706,719 — meaning a projected deficit of $1,165,285 for next school year.

Contributing to expenses is a growing state-mandated pension obligation at $272,403.

A deficit in the general fund budget of a similar size has been common the past few years, Evans said, explaining it is typically made up through a combination of conservative spending and money from a fund balance, which is basically a savings account.

That means district officials are able to hold the line on taxes this year. In the proposed budget, Cambria County real estate taxes will remain at 54.63 mills.

Blair County residents living within district limits will be taxed at rate of 5.53 mills — about $553 annually on a property with an assessed value of $100,000.

Though that rate is much lower than the previous year, property owners will pay about the same amount in taxes this year.

Property values in Blair County recently were reassessed, meaning assessed value should be equal to market value.

Real estate transfer and earned income taxes also will remain unchanged at 0.5 percent. And the district’s per capita, flat occupation and local services taxes will remain at an annual $5 each.

The total amount of revenue produced by those taxes is estimated at

$1.35 million, officials said.

School board members voted unanimously Tuesday to accept the proposed budget.

They will have to vote on a final budget at a later date.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535

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