Thursday, January 20, 2011

Neshaminy looks to trim tax hike

From an article appearing in today's Courier Times . . .

Closing a projected $11.2 million budget deficit strictly with a tax increase of roughly 10 percent would require $403 more in 2011-12 from the average Neshaminy School District property owner.

However, before residents get too alarmed, school board President Ritchie Webb said a tax increase that high is very unlikely. He said hiking taxes by the projected rate would require voter approval in a referendum and it's highly doubtful the matter would get that far.

Instead, school board members and others will look at all possible ways to close the deficit without a huge tax hike before a final budget is passed sometime prior to June 30, Webb said.
The district's 2011-12 proposed preliminary budget is available online at

The $11.2 million figure represents 14.6 mills of property taxes, or $403 for a resident with a property assessed at the school district average of $27,626.

"The state's Act 1 limitations would make it impossible for us to raise taxes that high, even if we wanted to," said Webb. "This is the worst economy we've had in 75 years, so we'll look at everything short of hurting our children to balance this budget and get this thing down."

One thing that could change the numbers before a final budget is passed is if the school board and teachers reach agreement on a new contract.

Teachers have been working under a contract that expired June 30, 2008, and their salaries have been frozen since that date, said Webb. The proposed preliminary budget has teacher salaries remaining where they are but also includes a $1.9 million increase in health insurance costs for all employees.

You can read the article in its entirety by clicking here.

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