Many, perhaps most, Pennsylvania school districts are facing a financial crunch. With taxpayers already stretched to the limit and Harrisburg contemplating large cuts to K-12 education spending, districts must watch every penny. One way the Legislature can help offset the budget cuts and assist school districts would be to repeal the prevailing wage requirement for school construction and renovation.
Mt. Lebanon taxpayers, like many taxpayers in Pennsylvania, are facing a shocking increase in school taxes over the next five years. Between now and 2015, property tax collections in Mt. Lebanon are projected to rise 45 percent as the millage rate is boosted by over 40 percent while earned income tax collections are slated to rise 19 percent. These figures are taken from the School District’s preliminary out-year budget forecasts. The coming real estate hikes are necessary to cover an enormous 120 percent jump in fringe benefit expenditures from $13.2 million to $29.7 million; a nearly $8 million rise in debt service to cover the new high school and normal increases in other expenses. Fringe benefits will surge largely as a result of the jaw dropping gush of required payments into the teacher pension fund.