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School District Impact Aid Intact - For Now

Hatboro-Horsham School District officials said moving forward the approximate $650,000 in federal impact aid for the former Willow Grove air base could be reduced.

The "looming question" for Hatboro-Horsham School District officials revolves around more than just whether federal dollars will be received in lieu of 1,100 acres of non-taxable land at the former Willow Grove air base.

Since the federal government proposed an 8 percent across-the-board funding reduction effective in January 2013, Hatboro-Horsham officials are wondering how much federal aid will be forthcoming in future school years. 

"The one looming question every year that’s going to impact us is impact aid," Superintendent Curtis Griffin said during Monday's school board work session. "The immediate thing every year is will we receive federal dollars?"

The answer, according to Bob Reichert, the district's director of business affairs, is yes. But, how much aid is the area of uncertainty.

In years past, Reichert said the district received about $650,000 each year in federal impact aid in lieu of taxes paid on the former military base. That amount, Reichert told Patch previously, fluctuated from year to year and was based on a funding formula that the federal government put in place. Officials are hopeful that impact aid will continue on the property until its eventual transfer from the government to its future owner. At that time, the district and Horsham Township could levy taxes on it.

Besides the proposed cuts to federal impact aid, Reichert said the district - along with other school districts - could be hit with an 8 percent reduction in the rest of its federal funding. 

"If that does go into effect it could have a significant impact on our district," Reichert said. 

qdogPa October 02, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Maybe Mr Reichert should explain why the district has not taken into consideration that this "aid" would be reduced and stopped at some point? Everyone knows the base was going to close for 6+ years, but it seems the district continued to rely on this funding to support the budget..Now that the funding is almost over, the budget will be in deficit, and taxpayers on the hook

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