Pro­posed bud­get calls for 3.4 per­cent tax hike

Board ap­proves pre­lim­i­nary bud­get with 3.4 per­cent in­crease

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - NEWS - By Natalya Bu­cuy

WARMINSTER » The Cen­ten­nial School Board ap­proved pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal bud­get for 2018-19 school year May 8 in the sec­ond of the three ap­proval votes for the bud­get, with the fi­nal ap­proval sched­uled for June.

The bud­get in­cludes a 3.4 per­cent prop­erty tax in­crease for district home­own­ers, which means the mill­age rate would rise from 136.6 to 141.02 mills. A mill is equal to $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of a prop­erty’s as­sessed value. For an prop­erty as­sessed at the district av­er­age of $26,400, the in­crease would trans­late to a $116 tax in­crease.

The tax in­crease sur­passes the state-al­lowed Act 1 in­dex in­crease of 2.4 per­cent. Un­der the next year’s Act 1 in­dex, the state-set al­lowed max­i­mum tax in­crease, the district is only al­lowed to in­crease the rate up to 139.94 mills, but Cen­ten­nial ap­plied for and re­ceived an ap­proval for a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion ex­cep­tion with the state in Fe­bru­ary.

The ex­pen­di­tures in the work­ing bud­get amount to $119,991,125, and the rev­enues to­tal $119,491,125.

Board Pres­i­dent Dr. An­drew Pol­lock pre­vi­ously ex­plained most of the bud­get’s ex­pen­di­tures, such as la­bor costs and pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions, lie be­yond the board’s con­trol, as the ex­pen­di­tures are state­man­dated and not state­funded.

Pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions re­main the main con­cern of many Penn­syl­va­nian school dis­tricts. Har­ris­burg ad­min­is­tra­tion has yet to pro­pose a pen­sion re­form that school dis­tricts across the state have been call­ing for over the last few years.

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