Board unanimous: No exceptions for 2020-21

Resolution will limit any potential tax increase to 3 percent.
Posted on 10/28/2019
Image of a graduation cap.By Gary Weckselblatt

In a unanimous vote, the Quakertown Community School Board passed a resolution to limit any potential tax increase for the 2020-21 fiscal year to the Act 1 index. For Quakertown, that number is 3 percent.

The October 24 vote means that the Board will not seek exceptions for items like special education, school construction and employee retirement to raise property taxes above 3 percent as next year’s budget is developed.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Act 1, the state’s property tax law, the base index is calculated by averaging the percent increases in the Pennsylvania statewide average weekly wage and the Federal employment cost index for elementary/secondary schools.

The following is the resolution, prior to the vote, read by Board President Steaven Klein:

“The school district’s various tax levies and other revenue sources will be sufficient to balance the school district final budget for the next fiscal year 2020-2021 based on maintaining current tax rates or increasing tax rates by an amount less than or equal to the Act 1 index applicable to the school district as calculated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. This conclusion is based on the school District's preliminary budget or other information available to the School Board.

“The applicable index for the next fiscal year is 3.0%, and the School Board will not for the next fiscal year increase the rate of its real estate tax, or any other tax for the support of public education, by an amount that exceeds the applicable index.

“The School Board has to date and in the future will comply with the rules set forth in School Code § 687 for the adoption of the school district proposed and final budgets for the next fiscal year.

“The School Board understands that the school district will not be eligible to use Act 1 referendum exceptions for the next fiscal year.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.
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