COAL TOWNSHIP - The Shamokin Area School Board passed its tentative budget Tuesday evening, with a slight increase in taxes that will be absorbed for many by proceeds from gambling.

The board unanimously approved its 2014-15 budget of $32,465,169 at its meeting with board members Edward Griffiths, Charles Shuey, Jeffrey Kashner, Ronald McElwee, Robert Getchey, Matthew Losiewicz, Rosalie Smoogen and Bernard Sosnoskie voting for the budget.

Earlier in the year, the board approved the use of $3.1 million from its revenue surplus in order to balance the budget, but this year's spending plan includes a tax increase of .8436 mills, the maximum 3.2 percent the board can raise taxes under the Act 1 state tax reform plan.

That raises the millage rate from 27.1 to 27.95, which will raise taxes for the average property owner 85 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value of their property. The district average for assessed value of a property is $10,500 according to the Northumberland County Assessment Office, meaning the average tax bill will go from $284.55 to $293.48, an increase of $8.93.

The board also unanimously approved the 2014-15 homestead farmstead exclusion resolution for the coming year.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education has informed Shamokin Area it will be receiving $350,496 for its property tax reduction allocation funded by gambling tax funds.

With 4,921 homesteads and 25 farmsteads approved for the reduction, district calculations show those approved for the exemption will receive a tax reduction of $71.10.