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Local News Article
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Tax Increase Likely in UPSD 2023-24 Budget
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            A tax increase will likely be included in the budget for Upper Perkiomen's upcoming school year. The size of that hike remains an issue.

            Last week, Business Administrator Dan Direso recommended a 3.67 percent hike during his presentation on the 2023-24 budget. Board President Melanie Cunningham said she has a favored rate in her mind but declined to provide any further insights following the April 27 workshop meeting.

            Direso's presentation on the proposed $73.173 million budget projects a $1.645 million deficit. He told the members that a 2.34 percent tax increase is needed to cover the new contract with the Upper Perkiomen Education Association.

            At the rate suggested by the business administrator, the median property owner in Montgomery County would pay an additional $151.42. In Berks County, that figure would be $116.13.

            After the meeting, Direso described his proposed rate of increase as a balance that allows the district to cover its increased instructional expenses while minimizing the need to utilize fund balance to cover a shortfall.

           The finance committee has yet to deliver a recommendation on the preferred level of tax hike, according to Cunningham, its chair. She said after the workshop meeting that the committee will discuss the issue during its next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday.  "We're not there yet," Cunningham said.

            The board set the district's millage rate at 25.8585 last June when it approved a 2.5 percent millage rate increase for the current school year. The rate remained at 25.2278 mills in the three previous years, according to information included in Direso's presentation.

            The finance committee will review the proposed final budget next week. The full board is scheduled to adopt the proposed final budget during the May 11 regular meeting.

            Four days later, the committee is scheduled to make any adjustments to that version of the budget. On June 12, the three-person panel will have the opportunity to make any final adjustments. Three days later, the full board is slated to adopt the final budget as well as the Homestead/Farmstead exclusion, according to Direso.

            Additional state funding could significantly reduce the district's shortfall. A budget proposal by Gov. Josh Shapiro could cut Upper Perkiomen's budget deficit in half, according to the business administrator.

            However, Cunningham said she is moving forward like the funds will not materialize.

            The general assembly has until July to approve a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

            "That money has not been included in my calculations," the board president said. 






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