Lehigh Valley

Northampton Area lowers school tax hike projection

NORTHAMPTON BOROUGH, Pa. - Property owners in the Northampton Area School District will likely see their taxes go up this year, although not as much as administrators first suggested.

Earlier this year, the district presented a 2014-2015 budget balanced on a 3.5 percent tax increase.

But on Monday night, the school board got a look at new budget figures from Superintendent Joseph Kovalchick and Treasurer Terry Len that show a projected tax increase of 2.47 percent.

That means the average district homeowner would pay about $67 a year more in property taxes.

Len and Kovalchick said they were able to lower the projected increase through savings brought by retiring employees, refinancing a bond, and a decrease in the budget for the Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical School, all adding up to $517,000.

They also presented the board with another option: a 2.68 percent tax increase, with $105,000 in savings going to the district's contingency fund.

The district could also go lower than 2.4 percent, but that would mean dipping further into its fund balance.

Board members are expected to vote on the budget May 5.

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