District May Raise Taxes to Pay State’s Share for School

Taxpayers in one school district in Wayne County could end up paying higher taxes all because the state claims it doesn’t have the money it owes for construction of a new elementary school.

People we spoke with in the Western Wayne School District are not to happy to hear the school board is considering raising taxes at most 6 percent.

It would need approval from Harrisburg first but since EverGreen Elementary School was built, district leaders said they’ve been footing the bill for the state and Western Wayne is running out of money.

EverGreen Elementary School near Hamlin has been open for a couple of years now and at a price tag of about $20 million, the Western Wayne School District planned to pay for it in part with state money.

That money has not flowed from Harrisburg and now district leaders said along with skyrocketing pension costs, the district has had to pay up.

“As a result we’ve had to dip into our fund balance which is our reserve. We’ve gotten to the point where there’s no more dipping,” said Western Wayne Superintendent Clayton LaCoe.

LaCoe said the district now faces more than a $1 million budget shortfall. Letters went out to taxpayers saying the school board is asking for permission to raise taxes as much as 6 percent or nearly $100 more per year for every $100,000 a property is assessed.

“It sounds like it’s going to be hard to take, hard to take. We are maxed out on what we’re paying already, don’t know where it’s going to come from,” said Randy Miller of Lake Township.

People we spoke with in the Western Wayne School District said they already pay a considerable amount in taxes.

“Seems like it never ends, being taxed for everything,” said Patrick Shelley who shells out more than $10,000 in taxes every year on both his home and business.

“They’re already high, and you can’t afford it, most people can’t afford to pay that as it is,” said Kaylie Wilmot of Lake Ariel.

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Department of Education said about 150 public school building projects are in the same boat as Western Wayne’s EverGreen. There’s not enough money set aside in the budget to pay the districts at this time.

Western Wayne will get its money from the state but there’s no telling when.

“They’re in a position right now where their back’s against the wall, we need to be able to generate the revenue,” said LaCoe of the district’s school board.

State officials said the Rendell administration approved more projects than the budget could pay for and Governor Tom Corbett put a moratorium on any state funding for new projects.

Western Wayne School District officials hope lawmakers do something to get that money flowing again to help pay for the school that’s already been built.

36 comments

  • bradleytank

    The state is not a magic money ATM.
    They get the money from us, as do the feds. Since it is our.money and managed poorly by others, individuals manage their personal finances well.
    if they don’t they are weeded out pretty fast, and not given more to manage by the laws of smart thinking.

    Corbett is a hero for holding the line on debt and spending.

    Jobs, jobs, jobs… lower taxes brings in business.
    Business brings in jobs, income taxes follow jobs
    Consumer spending follows jobs after taxes.

    If the town RAISES raises taxes, the people leave, making more pressure
    on the towns people that stay, cycle continues.

    Refinance the debt, or default on it. Let someone else buy the schools AFtER the fire sale. The private sector has solved this mismanagement quite efficiently. Or is this school, like half in the state too big to fail.

    M aryC please tell me the C stand for compassionate, because competent doesn’t match your comments.

    Maryc

    • MaryC

      C stands for CARES about our children. C stands for calling rumors, rumors. C stands for competent. Bradley, exactly where do you think my comments were incompetent ? Don’t just throw out insults without support and expect to look like genius. Children do that. Man up, state the FACTS about this particular issue and stop spewing out quotes from whatever News channel you watch. Get informed and have a real, specific opinion about this topic.

      • bradleytank

        I spoke with the district officials. I have emails if you like. BTW it is my IQ and EQ that attest for my ideas, not my looks that matter to most people. .
        Sorry you are so shallow to think looks matter in this age of enlightenment

        Please tell me you are not teaching these children.

        t.

      • bradleytank

        No name calling, just questions.
        Visit my web site for all the facts you need.

        I do not waste my time on such arguments of opinion,
        I spoke with the people in the know at the district, that was enough for me.
        Have yourself a nice day.

      • bradleytank

        As a chess player, I go with probability, not having a clue I’ll have to punt on that one. If you hunt for the answer you may not like what you find.

        I say, like many that spout the need for facts, then ignore them. It isn’t worth the time continuing the conversation. Think Putin’s comment on Obama on negotiating and chess. I’m done on this one, like that analogy the board probably need to be cleaned up.

      • MaryC

        and ,,, there you go. Thanks Charly for proving my point. You have proven yourself to be a classless, uneducated person who has not one fact about this topic. Good for you

      • Charly Lucky

        BOOM, THERE IT IS!!!!! Judging by her last reply, MaryC is a teacher at Western Wayne, or sucking on some type of government teet job/retired. Better watch we don’t get detention!!!

      • MaryC

        Charly, I am not a teacher nor do I work for the district. I am a local business owner. Why cant you answer my question ? Since you know so much about enrollment at the school. What are the numbers ?

      • Charly Lucky

        ENROLLMENT
        EverGreen Elementary
        Page 4
        Early Intervention 10ENROLLMENT
        EverGreen Elementary
        Page 4
        Early Intervention 10
        Pre-Kindergarten 62
        Kindergarten 68
        First Grade 90
        Second Grade 84
        Third Grade 80
        Fourth Grade 87
        Fifth Grade 90
        571
        Outside Placement + 4
        Total 575
        Pre-Kindergarten 62
        Kindergarten 68
        First Grade 90
        Second Grade 84
        Third Grade 80
        Fourth Grade 87
        Fifth Grade 90
        571
        Outside Placement + 4
        Total 575

  • bradleytank

    Lehighton school district is pulling the same BS.
    This Monday they are voting to build a school despite the State’s letter
    telling them the fund is empty. It has been empty for years.
    They are proceeding, get this, without the referendum. They are power trippin.
    The “power to be” are circumventing ACT 25 of 2011 with a loop hole.
    Declining enrollment, debt ridden, Slumlord board won’t fix but will build.
    visit bradleytank dot com to see the antics we documented.

  • DO.

    They built a school that they did not need when they already had a school a mile down the road that was fine if it need up dating then they should have done that in stead of build a new school for no reason at all . It is rediculous that the tax payers have to pay for something that was promised by the state and the did not follow though so now it is up to the tax payer to pay . The taxes are high enough already they do not need to raise our taxes to pay for this we were not asked if we wanted to build a new school.

      • bradleytank

        How could ANY district EVER let ANY building our children are in get to a point or condition that renders them UNrepairable? Really? How is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave looking lately? 1 North Broad in Philadelphia? Respect for our assets, the taxpayer and the children is missing.

        Buildings are not disposable devices, worn out and tossed away.

        Asset Management is the responsibility of the school board.
        Any board making such poor decisions should be held accountable by the taxpayers.. We need to add a fiduciary responsibility to our elected officials.

        The thought that this fiduciary responsibility is absent, which it is, is a testament to our systems. No one is held accountable. This is the flaw in the system.

  • DJ

    Western Wayne WILL get it’s money from the State, but there’s no telling when??? So..raise taxes now, AND get the money from the State LATER?? People’s bank accounts are already bleeding to death over School Taxes. Enough is ENOUGH!

  • TAXES!

    I, just like everyone else, am dissapointed that taxes will go up. I am not on the school board, teach, and am not an administrator at WW. I am only a taxpayer. I hope everyone understands that this is NOT the districts fault. If you research this you will see the Governor Rendell made funds available for these types of projects across the state. Governor Corbett decided to take that money away and leave school districts and taxpayers to pick up a tab that they cannot afford. I say contact our legislators and push for legislation that does not allow for this to happen when we transfer from one administration to the next. A promise is still a promise. Thanks again Mr. Corbett. A tax on natural gas drilling could probably pay for the project in a week. Take the money from those who can afford it!

    • MaryC

      You are absolutely spot on ! I cannot tolerate the rumors, false statements and ridiculous statements that I have heard about this topic. I actually read a post from someone today that is convinced that the district is in this situation because they bought every student a $500.00 IPAD. Get involved, get educated about the topic and get an educated opinion ! The district did everything right, was promised funding and Mr. Corbett is now holding that money hostage ! Our community should be outraged at him not the district.

      • Charly Lucky

        ENROLLMENT
        EverGreen Elementary
        Page 4
        Early Intervention 10
        Pre-Kindergarten 62ENROLLMENT
        EverGreen Elementary
        Page 4
        Early Intervention 10
        Pre-Kindergarten 62
        Kindergarten 68
        First Grade 90
        Second Grade 84
        Third Grade 80
        Fourth Grade 87
        Fifth Grade 90
        571
        Outside Placement + 4
        Total 575
        Kindergarten 68
        First Grade 90
        Second Grade 84
        Third Grade 80
        Fourth Grade 87
        Fifth Grade 90
        571
        Outside Placement + 4
        Total 575

      • bradleytank

        You da man…
        Now search the district site for a feasibility study to get a trend.
        The district is losing enrollment to charter cyber and the over taxed exedus

    • Charly Lucky

      Just spoke to a WW teacher, told me the Evergreen school could easily handle all of the RD Wilson school students. So I would estimate that the Evergreen school could easily handle 1,000 students, give or take 100. But some people would just call that HEAR-SAY. Since WW website does not show the Evergreen schools capacity, I will believe what the teacher working in it tells me.

      • bradleytank

        I walked away from this illiterate, Charlie you should too.

        Mary C (omprehension) , read that again, look at your reply and know why civilized people will ignore your nonsense. The building can handle 1000, he didn’t say they had 1000. Oh my

      • MaryC

        Again with the name calling Bradley ? Don’t you know how to make a point without that ? Maybe you can’t. I thought you left this conversation after I asked you for facts about your comments ? What are you going to call me now ?

      • Charly Lucky

        Bradleytank, you are correct, this person is an absolute fool. Reminds me of a child,”I KNOW YOU ARE, BUT WHAT AM I”? IF the RD has 300, and the Evergreen has 575, thats 875, the Evergreen can hold over 1,000.
        Why not shut down the RD, and send the students to the “new,state of the art Evergreen School, and save taxpayer money on the RD???
        I am finished with this discussion. Off to work to pay for the tax increase, which I am sure the drunken board will approve.

  • RC

    It’s great that the districts will “get their money” even if they don’t know when this will take place, but what type of reimbursement will come to our local families who are going to be paying for this deficit in poor planning to the government’s “not having enough money set aside in the budget at this time?”

Talkback 16 Online Discussion:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s



Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 27,700 other followers