AASD underestimates tax hike of new school

Why is the Altoona Area School District superintendent making so many statements about funding for the new school project that are obviously untrue?

Yet another example appeared in the Mirror last month.

“To pay the district’s share of the construction costs, the board plans to raise taxes 0.61 mill each year for 10 years. Superintendent Charles Prijatelj projects the average taxpayer in the district will have a tax bill that would be $120 higher than it is currently after 10 years of tax raises for the project.”

Are we then to believe that the tax increase totaling 6.1 mills after 10 years will only result in $120 in additional taxes for the average homeowner?

That statement is only true for properties with an assessed value of less than $20,000. Is the assessed value of the average AASD home anywhere near that low? I think not.

Thus the tax increases will in reality be much larger.

One more thing to keep in mind is highlighted in this statement in the story.

“That higher tax bill doesn’t reflect any potential millage increases for operating costs.”

This acknowledges the fact that the increases under discussion here are only what will be needed to fund the school construction.

They don’t even scratch the surface of additional taxation needed to balance the entire budget.

Michael Boston