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Hopewell School Board votes to
raise real estate taxes by 1 mill
Like most school boards in Beaver County, the Hopewell Area School Board has approved a real estate tax increase for the 2018-19 school year.

The board voted 9-0 on June 18 to raise taxes by 1 mill to support a budget in the amount of about $39.1 million in revenue but about $41.2 million in expenses.

The difference – projected to be about $2.1 million – will come from the district’s general fund balance, which currently holds more than $7 million, though some of that will be used to balance the current year’s budget.

The owner of a home with an assessed value of $100,000 will pay $100 more in the upcoming year; the owner with an assessed value of $150,000 would pay $150 more, and so on.

Business Administrator Jennifer Conrad said the tax hike was driven by existing contractual commitments in salaries and benefits, estimates for employees covered by contracts currently under negotiations and cyber/charter school tuition.

Among factors contributing to the need for a tax hike are:

3.44 percent increase for teachers budgeted (based on average increase from last contract) and other contractual increases
3 percent increase in health insurance
Additional first grade and kindergarten teachers
Increase in the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) employer rate from 32.57 percent to 33.43 percent
Cyber/charter school tuition (112 students currently enrolled)