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QCSB Passes Budget with No Tax Increase
Written by Jennifer Frieze, Correspondent
2024-06-19

            On Thursday, June 13th, the Quakertown Community School Board approved their final budget for the 2024-2025 fiscal year.

            After a lengthy discussion a motion to approve the budget without a tax increase passed 5 to 4, with Ronald Jackson, Jonathan Kern, Glenn Iosue, Joseph Lyons and David O'Donnell voting not to increase taxes.

In opposition to the motion, Charles Shermer, Chris Spear, Brian Reimers, and Todd Hippauf were in favor of a 3% tax increase.

            A detailed discussion and presentation were given at the board meeting on the budget and a proposed tax increase of 3%. The proposed millage rate is 177.37, at a 3% tax increase from the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

            However, several board members leaned towards another option of no tax increase. Therefore the 2024-2025 final budget totals $145,486,044. This would also include a budgetary reserve. The proposed millage rate is 172.21, a 0% tax increase from the 2023-2024 fiscal year.

            Under the Capital Projects Commitment of Fund Balance, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 54 and Board Policy 620 Fund Balance, the board annually may commit or require a portion of the fund balance for specified purposes which can include capital projects with the amount to be determined following the close of the fiscal year, but prior to the final audited financial statements.

            "A tax increase acts as a shock absorber … at an operating deficit that occurs every year," said board member Charles Shermer. 

Ron Jackson requested the administration give a detailed breakdown of the finances during the meeting. The information should be available to the public in order for them to understand the need for a tax increase.

            During the breakdown of the budget presented by the administration, Ron Jackson stated, "The jump from budget 2021 to 2025 is a significant difference."

"Where do these funds come from?" asked member Jon Kern.

"The taxpayers," replied Jackson.  

            Both Jackson and Iosue stated that with a large deficit of approximately $13 million, it is not out of the question that the budget could be done with a 0% tax increase.

Hippauf refuted that contention because the board is dealing with a different administration and "changing in of the guards" and argued for the possible need for a tax increase.

            Charles Shermer made the point that there will be large capital improvements in the future and borrowing money will be very expensive due to high interest rates.

            The budget includes the allocation of fund balance from the general fund for the capital projects for 2024-2025 with the amount to be determined by the administration following the completion of the annual audit. Fund balance above 8% of the operating budget will be committed to capital.


 

 

 

 

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