The dog wags back!

A sometimes funny, somtimes angry, but mostly progressive, blog on the politics and issues of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and America.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Woe in the Burbs

Shame on the Post-Gazette for attempting to embarrass Dr. Mark Trombetta of the Upper St. Clair School Board. The P-G continually repeats a quote from Dr. Trombetta that casts the good Doctor and elected official as an ignoramus. I am referring of course to Dr. Trombetta’s claim that stories that he planned to eliminate the IB program were a “mistruth.” The P-G knows full well that no such word exists and yet it insists on repeating Dr. Trombetta’s minor mistake.

Further shame for not embarrassing Upper St. Clair’s McCarthy Brigade on the false fiscal premises on which they eliminate the IB program. According to the Allegheny County website, the municipal tax millage in USC is a whopping 2.6 mills – well above the lowest rate of less than 1 mill in Sewickley Hills. USC residents desiring fiscal prudence must surely pine for the paradise in them there Hills. By any measure however, the municipal taxes in USC are below the average for Allegheny County.

What is that you say? It is not the municipal taxes but the school taxes that is the rub? Let’s see then, the school district taxes must be really high, they have really good schools and folks are complaining about the taxes. Wow, School District taxes in Upper St. Clair are 22.45 mills. This means that the cash-strapped homies of USC pay nearly $2.25 for every $100 of house value. The median home value in USC is nearly $175G so we’re talking an annual $4,000 pounds of flesh.

That’s not chump change. The lowest tax municipality charges only $1.40 for every $100 of home value. By now you know where this is going. The highest tax school district extracts five times as much to pay for educating the children – any many of them don’t have schools with the reputation of USC. School taxes in Upper St. Clair are actually (are you sitting down?) below average for Allegheny County. Huh? What are all of the complaints about? Wait, I bet it is that taxes are going up too quickly. In fact in the past year school district taxes went up 3% in USC. Of course, they went up that much everywhere. So what is all the fuss about? I don’t know, we’ve reached the limits of reason.

School District Taxes in Allegheny County



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