WILKES-BARRE — Two measures approved by the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board tonight were met with disdain from some taxpayer advocates.
One decision was to raise the real estate property tax rate 2.25 percent, from 15.522 mills to 15.871 mills. A mill is equal to $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value.
The other was to add the Murray Complex off Pennsylvania Avenue to a feasibility study of properties to consider for the site of a new high school complex.
Four taxpayers pleaded with the board during public comment, asking the members not to raise taxes because the taxpayers can’t afford it.
One of them, Wilkes-Barre City Taxpayers Association President Frank Sorick, also condemned the board for “rewarding” Murray Complex owner Daniel Siniawa “for his neglect of his property in downtown Wilkes-Barre.”
“It sat there abandoned for years, the city refused to do anything with it. Now, the school board will probably enrich Mr. Siniawa with a nice contract on that,” Sorick said.
Board member Christine Katsock voted against including the property in the feasibility study.
Katsock and board President Louis Elmy voted against approving the 2014-15 school year budget with a tax increase.
Check back later to timesleader.com for an updated story with more details.