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Quakertown School Board Sets Stage for Tax Increase
Written by Jennifer Butler, Correspondent
2018-01-31

District to Seek Act 1 Exception

 

            Last Thursday, the Quakertown Community School District Board of Directors reviewed a preliminary 2018-2019 budget presentation with plans to vote on the preliminary budget during their February 8 regular meeting.

            In the meantime, however, the board voted 5-4 to seek a special exception to exceed the Act 1 base index for a tax increase. Special Session Act 1 of 2006, the Taxpayer Relief Act, sets maximum tax increases that districts can levy without an exception from the Department of Education or voter approval.  

            Quakertown's current index is set at 2.80%. Two exceptions, for special education expenditures and retirement contributions could bring that total up to 6.04%. The administrative recommendation is to request a partial exception for an increase of 4.2%, which will equate to approximately $174 annually for homeowners.

            According to the presentation given by Superintendent William Harner Thursday night, prior budgets did not adequately fund the high school renovation, special education mandates or contributions to the Commonwealth Public School Employees Retirement Systems (PSERS).

            Harner detailed the impact for the district of an increase from the current millage rate of 157.77 to 164.3924, noting that the increase would allow the district to set aside funds for ongoing capital maintenance.

            "We have never had a set aside," Harner explained, adding that recommended ongoing facilities maintenance has not been done consistently in the past.

            After adoption of the preliminary budget, district administration will continue to seek reductions by considering medical premiums, staffing or salary reductions through attrition, refinement of departmental budgets and review of 2017-2018 actuals. Adoption of a proposed final budget is scheduled for April 28 with final budget adoption set for June 14.


 

 

 

 

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