H-H School Board Promises to Keep Taxes Within State Guidelines
The board Monday night approved a resolution to stay within the 1.7 percent Act 1 index for 2012-2013.
Hatboro-Horsham school directors plan to keep the district’s taxation millage rate within the state’s Act 1 index during the upcoming school year budget planning process.
The resolution was approved unanimously, with board member Louis A. Polaneczky adding “enthusiastically” to his vote.
What that means is the district will cap any tax increases to 1.7 percent, keeping in line with the guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Education under Act 1.
By approving the resolution, the board opts out of seeking any exceptions that would allow them to go above the current index or obtain voter approval through a referendum.
School district officials believe levying taxes at the current rate or less will be sufficient to balance its final 2012-2013 budget.
District Director of Business Affairs Robert Reichert said the school board and administrators decided to create a resolution pledging to stay within the Act 1 index because they understand the continued economic difficulties residents are facing on a daily basis.
“Hatboro-Horsham will work diligently over the next several months to create a budget that meets, not only the educational needs of our students, but the financial responsibilities of taxpayers,” Reichert said.
Reichert explained at Monday night’s meeting that the resolution was brought up for vote now instead of January because an election year accelerates the Act 1 timeline and because only one school board meeting is set for January.
Reichert said more budget information will be presented at the board’s January meeting.
School districts in Pennsylvania are required to have a final budget for the following school year that must be approved by June.
In other business, the board:
- Approved a feasibility study regarding future plans for the district’s seven schools – Hatboro-Horsham High School, Keith Valley Middle School, and five elementary schools. Board president Barbara LaSorsa said in light of Willow Grove air base's closure and populations shifting, the study was deemed essential to district planning. Costs are not to exceed $10,500 and results are expected to be presented in the next few months. As part of tentative base redevelopment plans, the school district has requested a 60-acre parcel of the roughly 839 acres available for redevelopment.
- Approved revisions to the policy for the use of school facilities. Fees were increased to use the senior high school turf field, since new artificial turf was installed. Changes include community group usage ($125 per hour); non-community group usage ($250 per hour) community events/tournaments or District 1 and PIAA events ($1,500 per event); and non-community events/tournaments ($2,500 up to five hours, with $250 per additional hour).