Letter to the editor | Show us the numbers

November 13, 2013 

The $116 million estimated cost for the State College Area High School project is now $25 million more than necessary or agreed to during the community survey.

The CDT reported Tuesday: “ ‘We need to show people the tax impact so it’s clear at a glance what they can expect,’ said board Vice President Amber Concepcion.”

I agree. When will that happen?

When will the school board use a simple chart or calculator to show on one page the projected year-by-year, 2015-to-2020 tax increases in mills and percent for the Act 1 tax increases; the considerable PSERS exception to Act 1 tax increases; and the proposed high school referendum tax increases and culminating with the total school property tax increase for each of those years?

These numbers are known to the school administration. Public School Employees’ Retirement System costs are the elephant that cannot be ignored; they occur during the same time as the high school tax increase.

Taxpayers can then multiply the annual total tax increases by the mill rate and divide by 1,000 to obtain their annual projected tax increase in dollars for their own property.

Can you afford it? Taxpayers answer for themselves, not for the average homeowner (there are three in the entire district +/- $200.)

The school board can shock the community now, before the referendum, or after the referendum. It is best government to do so before the referendum.

Don Gordon, Patton Township

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