North Penn 2022-23 budget, with tax increases, approved

TOWAMENCIN — The final votes have been cast and the budget is now official.

The North Penn School Board voted unanimously Thursday night to approve a 2022-23 budget and accompanying tax increase.

“With the passing of the ’22-23 budget tonight, we will be working with elected tax collectors to issue tax bills,” said district chief financial officer Steve Skrocki.

“We expect these to be in mailboxes around the first of July,” he said.

Talks on the 2022-23 budget began last November, when the board voted to stay within the state-set 1 law index limit of a 3 tax increase, 4% without an electoral referendum. A series of special finance committee meetings were held in the months that followed, outlining each department’s projected expenditures and revenues, leading to a board vote in mid-May to adopt a draft budget, and an update. updated to the board’s finance committee last week with final revenues of $295.3 million, expenses of $300.4 million and an initial deficit of just over $5 million. Based on the district’s average property value, the tax increase is expected to be approximately $139 for the average resident, with partial offsets available through the district’s property tax rebate program, which can yield up to to $585 on the district’s tax bill for those eligible residents and its homestead exemption.

“If you are a homeowner in the North Penn School District and do not receive your tax bill by mid-July, please contact your elected tax collector in your municipality. Unfortunately, not receiving your bill does not exempt you from paying property taxes,” Skrocki said.

In its report of the finance committee Thursday nightcommittee chair Christian Fusco summarized these budget discussions at the last finance committee meeting on June 7 and gave the update homestead and farm exclusion amounts based on increased state funding.

“The exclusion on tax bills will be $264.13, or $51 more than the current year. The increase is due to higher gaming revenue received by the district, to offset property taxes from eligible homeowners. So keep betting on those bets,” he said.

These updated farm and farm exclusions were part of a series of unanimous board approvals, including for the general fund budget and departmental budgets for school nutrition services, extended care, and community education. . After the endorsements, Skrocki gave an update on the district property tax rebate programwhich will increase from July 1 from 60% to 75% of the amount the state issues to taxpayers under its reimbursement program.

“The council has increased the amount of rebates every year now. We’re going into our fifth year of the program, so it’s been very successful,” Skrocki said.

Board Chair Tina Stoll asked if Skrocki had any news of an increase in the level of state reimbursement, based on a proposal made by Governor Tom Wolf during a visit to Lansdale in May to apply a portion of the state’s federal COVID relief funds to these refunds.

“It looks like things are starting to warm up a bit now” towards passing a state budget for 2022-23, Skrocki said, adding that “the hope is to have a budget passed by by the end of June, which is actually a requirement, although it doesn’t happen every year.

Wolf also proposed an increase in the state’s Basic Education Grant to local districts in Pennsylvania, Skrocki added, and the latest state-level discussions indicated that Wolf’s request for 1.5 additional billion dollars will likely be reduced to $500 million to $700 million. interval.

“We have a 3% increase in our budget for basic and special education (grants), so we certainly hope the increase will be at least 3%,” Skrocki said.

And while the 2022-23 budget begins with an initial deficit of around $5.1 million, that amount could be offset by higher-than-expected revenue, reduced spending, or a combination of the two, as seems likely. be produced for the fiscal year about to end. .

“When we started the FY22 budget, we had a deficit of $5.8 million. Thanks to the additional revenues that have come in and the reduction in expenses, we expect to have a positive surplus at the end of the year,” he said.

“We will have discussions at future financial meetings, to consider moving some of this money into the capital reserve fund,” Skrocki said.

The North Penn School Board then meets at 7 p.m. on July 12 at the District Educational Services Center, 401 E. Hancock Street, and the Finance Committee then meets at 6 p.m. that evening; for more information or meeting agendas and materials, visit www.NPenn.org.

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