Wallenpaupack Area School Board was able to trim the proposed tax increase — which affected Wayne County property owners — thanks to growth in the assessed value within the District.


Wallenpaupack Area School Board was able to trim the proposed tax increase — which affected Wayne County property owners — thanks to growth in the assessed value within the District.

At the June 16 meeting, the board approved the final budget which totaled $58,551,762 in expenses. Much of the increase over last year’s budget is due to expenditures tied to salaries for the 515 employees in the district. The budget is also affected by declining revenue from a softer real estate market.

The budget will keep the district under the 4.4 percent index set by the State for tax increases and uses $1,349,275 from the Fund Balance.

The preliminary budget proposed 12.24 mills for Wayne County property owners, but the final budget drops the mills 1.3 percent to 12.1058 mills. That is still an increase of the 2007-08 budget when millage in Wayne was set at 10.7558. A mill is $1 for ever $1,000 of assessed value.

Pike County property owners will see their taxes go down to 60.6793 mills — a decrease of 0.98 percent over last year.

Taxes in Wayne are increasing while Pike’s are decreasing over last year because the new assessed value from Wayne County’s reassessment is being used in the equalization formula. The Equalization formula is used by the State to even out the differences between the two counties’s assessments. Pike is using values from 1996 and taxes are assessed on 25 percent of the value, while Wayne is using 100 percent of the 2006 assessed values.

Taxpayers will see the first benefits from the Gambling Revenue. Taxpayers in the District will receive $187.60 in assessment reductions. For the average taxpayer in Wayne County, their overall tax increase will be reduced to $19.29, due to the Gambling money.

Taxpayers in Pike County will see their taxes reduced by $204.93.

Increasing Costs

Increases for fuel costs finally hit the District. Wallenpaupack purchases bulk fuel for its bus contractors. That purchase kept fuel costs for its contractors at a set price over the past year, even though fuel prices were rising.

Prices will go up for unleaded this year by $1.16 per gallon, as the Board accepted the loan bid of $3.3611 per gallon from ISO Bunkers LLC, Aston. Diesel prices increased by $1.82 per gallon to $4.0791 per gallon from the same company.

The cost of lunches will increase next year due to the rising food costs. Lunch prices will increase 25 cents. Next year Elementary students will pay $2 for lunch; Middle school and High school will pay $2.25 for lunch. Adults pay $3.75. Breakfast will cost $1.50. Milk will stay the same at 50 cents.

The Wallenpaupack Area School District Board of Education meets the second Monday, 6 pm, in the High School Library, Route 6, east of Hawley. The Board will take a recess from its meeting schedule in July. The next meeting is scheduled for August 11.