FARRELL Directors reject bid to reduce tax rise

FARRELL, Pa.-- Three Farrell school directors felt some of the additional state subsidy funds expected this year should be given back to the taxpayers.
Superintendent Richard Rubano said Directors Edward Zappa, Sadie Benham and Joseph Costa said the $291,000 should be used to reduce this year's property tax increase from 4 mills to 3.
That would have taken only $50,000 and the rest could be used on the district's debt service, they said.
However, the other six directors, Ronald Weston, James Guerino, Jerome Flint, Larry Manilla, Lester Robinson and Michael Wright, felt all of the money should be assigned to debt service.
They said that is the best benefit to taxpayers in the long run because it will reduce the amount of interest the school district will have to pay on a 1994 bond issue, Rubano said.
The board voted in that 6-3 split Monday to put the money into a savings account and be used to recall and pay off some of those bonds in 2004, the first year they can be recalled, he said.
The state legislature finalized a 2002-03 budget in early July, about a month after Farrell finalized its own budget of $10.8 million.
The final state package included increased subsidies for schools with the stipulation that the districts reopen their budgets and use the month to either give taxpayers a rebate, pay on debt service or restore programs they had to cut from this year's budgets.

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