Referendum results discussed
CANTON - Canton Area School District Business Manager Mark Jannone spoke at the school board meeting Thursday about what he called one of the "items of displeasure" from the election.
He was alluding to the defeated ballot referendum on eliminating the occupation tax.
In addition, the board OK'd three items in one motion: a field trip request from the junior class to travel to Washington, D.C. on May 3, at no expense to the district, the approval of the 2012-13 Spirit Competition Cheerleading Squad under the direction of Marcie Jennings for the PIAA Tournament, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Canton Area Elementary School and the B/S/S/T Foster Grandparent Program, effective this November through October 2013, making the school a host site.
The ballot referendum question gave the taxpayers of the district the ability to eliminate the occupation assessment tax and replace it with a minor increase in the earned income tax.
According to unofficial election results from Bradford, Lycoming and Tioga counties, 52.4 percent of voters in seven precincts voted against the elimination of the occupation tax. The district serves all three counties.
"It appears that the elimination of the occupation tax has failed yet again," Jannone said. "Apparently, this may have been the closest margin ever."
Jannone said he was told that it was so close that absentee ballots "may actually push it over the edge," but he said he wasn't optimistic that the results could change in this manner.
"We'll wait and see."
"We have the option to do this every year," he continued. "We have the option to put it out there."
Despite the failure, Jannone said he would recommend the referendum be put on the ballot again. He said he would ask board members next year if they want to do so.
"Eventually, they (the voters) will understand it and vote for it," he predicted.
If the tax were eliminated, the Earned Income Tax would be increased by .05 percent, according to the district.
"The occupation assessment tax is very inaccurate and the rolls are not maintained, since all but one of our municipalities do not have an assessor," Jannone had said back in May.
"Its inaccuracy makes it unfair to the taxpayers. An earned income tax is much more dependable and ensures that someone isn't being over or under taxed as compared to their neighbors."
In other business, the board:
- approved the updated paraprofessional job description
- accepted the resignation of Steve Williams, cross country head coach, effective at the end of the 2012-13 season. Board member Bill Holland said Williams was a great coach and a great guy.
- accepted the following FMLA leave requests: Denis Manotti, industrial arts teacher, effective Oct. 15; and Kelsey Weed, elementary teacher, effective from about March 18 and extending 40 school days, with the option to extend
- approved the employment of Melinda Tymeson as a full-time paraprofessional, effective Nov. 9 at $8.63 per hour, plus benefits
- approved the following additions to the substitute list, pending completion of paperwork: Courtney Grieve, Joseph Assise, Noelle Schoonover, and Melissa Bastion
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.