Letter to the editor | Questions answered

January 24, 2014 

In his Wednesday letter (“Questions linger”), Bob Zaph asks what the total tax impact will be to fund a modernized high school and ongoing operations of the State College Area School District.

The answer, available on the district’s website (www.scasd.org/statehighfuture), is approximately 7 to 10 mills by 2020.

For an average homeowner, this equates to an additional annual cost of $493 to $698 in 2020, or an average property tax increase of 2.8 to 3.9 percent a year for the rest of the decade.

My detailed summary is posted at www.scribd.com/jpawelczyk.

What’s the fallback plan if the referendum doesn’t pass? That would depend on why it doesn’t pass. Sorting it out will take more polling, discussion and analysis. State law requires 155 days before another referendum could be held.

The most likely reasons would be dissatisfaction with either the design or the price tag. Worst case? Expect a $70 million to $80 million piecemeal solution that would disrupt classroom activities and take more years, possibly decades, to complete.

Even though 68 percent of voters oppose this approach, it’s better than nothing.

Doing nothing is no solution at all; it only hurts our kids.

I hope every registered voter will vote May 20. It’s an investment in the future of our community.

Jim Pawelczyk, Ferguson Township

The writer is a member of the State College Area school board.

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