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Karns City school board approves preliminary budget with no tax increase

KARNS CITY — The Karns City Area School Board approved a preliminary 2024-25 budget that does not include a tax increase, but residents in the Butler County portion of the district might pay a little more than this year.

Board members unanimously voted Monday in favor of the $26.5-million spending plan.

The state uses gaming revenue to equalize real estate tax rates in districts that span multiple counties like Karns City, Ritzert said.

Taxes in the Butler County part of the district could increase slightly, from the current rate of 100.2 mills to 104.2 mills because of higher property values than Armstrong and Clarion counties, he said.

The current tax rates of 43.9 mills in Armstrong and 44.6 mills in Clarion could decrease to 39.1 and 39.6, respectively, according to the budget.

The district has not received the 2024-25 tax rates from the state.

The budget revenue includes $8.5 million from all local sources, including $5.7 million from local real estate taxes; $17.5 million from the state; and $505,000 from the federal government.

Expenditures include $11.1 million for regular education, $1.7 million for special education, $570,000 for vocational education, $1.6 million for student support services, $1 million for instructional staff support services, $1.5 million for administration support services, $567,926 for the business office, $2.4 million for building operation and maintenance, $2.3 million for student transportation, $843,266 for student activities, $571,600 for purchases services and property, and $1.1 million for debt service.

The board also approved a five-year contract with the district’s 100 teachers who are represented by the Karns City Education Association.

The contract provides pay raises averaging 3.7% each year and replaces the existing five-year contract that included 2.9% annual raises after it expires June 30, Ritzert said.

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