Chartiers Valley School District raises taxes, plans facility upgrades as part of 2021-22 budget

·3 min read

Jun. 30—Chartiers Valley area property owners will have to pay a little more in real estate taxes next school year as part of next school year's $72.1 million budget.

School directors approved their 2021-22 spending plan with a tax hike of just under 3% in setting the new millage rate at 18.758 mills.

The 0.5462-mill increase from this school year equates to the average homeowner with a $131,400 property paying a little less than $6 more per month in real estate taxes.

District communications director Mikaela Duckstein said increased pension obligations and charter school tuition payments, as well as capital projects require more tax dollars.

"State and federal funding, however, does not match the cost of providing mandated services and benefits, leaving a large gap to be filled by local taxpayers," she said via email. "Furthermore, several Chartiers Valley School District facilities are in need of updating in the near future in order to continue providing our children with safe and comfortable learning environments.

"These capital improvements include updates at the intermediate school, primary school and secondary athletic facilities. Even with this increase, Chartiers Valley continues to have one of the lowest millage rates in Allegheny County."

No cuts to programs or staffing was noted. The district has about 3,300 students in grades K-12.

Projected expenses and revenue were listed around $72.1 million.

Income includes about $43.4 million in real estate taxes, including delinquent collection and $5.4 million in earned income taxes.

About 75% of the budget, nearly $54.1 million, is allocated for salaries and benefits for district employees.

The district also plans to draw a little less than $61,000 in reserve funds to help balance the budget.

The budget was posted on the district's website at cvsd.net/departments/business-finance.

Board president Darren Mariano said the decision to raise taxes on the heels of a pandemic was not made lightly.

"Addressing our needs today and in the future is imperative to providing world-class learning experiences for our students," Mariano said. Although this increase comes at a difficult time, I believe the administration is looking forward to positioning the school district and fixing some of our aging infrastructure.

"I would like to thank the parents, students and staff for their support in what has been an unfamiliar school year. As the administration has conveyed, we have become a stronger district as we worked through one of the most difficult school years in history."

He also noted the district's investments in technology and wireless infrastructure to ensure all students have access to iPads and Chromebooks, as well as the continued efforts to ensure student safety through the upcoming school year.

"The infrastructure and technology will continue to add value to our learning environment regardless of the dynamics we may face," Mariano said. "It is the district's intention to begin the school year as we have prior to the pandemic, with in-person instruction five days per week. The district intends to continue to follow the health and safety protocols as outlined in our health and safety plan and will continually update as conditions warrant. The well-being of our students and staff remains our top priority."

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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