I was not surprised to read about the 3.7 mill increase voted on recently by Seneca Valley school board. It seems we can expect these increases annually. It’s just a shame we can’t call the Social Security Administration and say, “We need an increase because our cost of living is going up and you are obligated to increase what you give me every month.” Too bad it doesn’t work that way. We have to make adjustments in our spending and cut back on unnecessary things so we stay within our budget.
This increase brings to mind two questions:
• With all the building going on, both residential and commercial in Cranberry Township alone, many millions of dollars woth, why doesn’t the tax revenue more than cover what is needed to balance the budget? Or is there “tax forgiveness” being handed out, as was given to Westinghouse? Even the residential building should be generating enough tax dollars to cover budget increases. Not only is Cranberry Township growing, but growth is moving north to Jacksson and Lancaster townships as well. I realize with new homes being built, the number of pupils may increase as well, but still the taxes on these new homes should help.
• Exactly how much, if any, does Passavant Senior Life Community in Zelienople contribute to Seneca Valley School District and to borough and county treasuries? The Passavant Community has nonprofit status so it is tax-exempt. So is the Masonic Village at Sewickley; but the Masonic Village signed a “payment in lieu of taxes” agreement through which it makes annual payments to help keep local taxes down. Last year, it paid $441,596 to Quaker Valley School District, $217,313 to Aleppo Township and $141,622 to Allegheny County. In addition, the Masonic Village contributed $20,000 to the school for scholarships and $10,000 to Aleppo toward the purchase of a fire truck.
I am sure many other taxpayers would like answers to these questions.