The Parkland Board of School Directors approved the General Fund Budget for the 2013–14 school year in the amount of $143,585,949 during the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, June 25, 2013. This equates to .5% less than the Proposed Final Budget adopted by the board on May 18, 2013 and communicated in the District’s newsletter that was mailed to all residents in early June. The budget is 3.9% lower than the Preliminary Budget that was adopted in February.
Budget adjustments based on assessment appeals, increases in assessed valuation driven by new construction in the school district and a positive dental benefit adjustment delivered more than $480,000 in revenue and expenditure adjustments since last month’s Proposed Final Budget adoption. These adjustments enabled the tax increase to be pared down to 1.92% from the 2.43% that was announced in May.
The General Fund Budget includes a 1.92% tax increase with a total millage of 13.83 mills. The Final Budget represents an increase of .26 mills down from the .79 mills that was proposed when the Preliminary Budget was adopted in February 2013. Due to the LehighCounty reassessment, the 2012-13 millage rate of 41.19 was recalculated to 13.57 which served as the starting point for the 2013-14 budget process. Similarly, the .3 mill previously collected in support of the Parkland Community Library has been recalculated to .1 mill to account for the county-wide reassessment.
Key Points of the 2013-14 Final Budget
- Challenges impacting Parkland include assessment appeals, underfunded special education mandates and increasing contributions to the state-mandated PSERS retirement system
- The Act 1 Index for Parkland for 2013-14 is 1.7% equaling approximately $1,640,106 or 0.23 mills
- Parkland is appropriating $4 Million of Fund Balance which equates to 0.56 mills to offset the proposed tax increase and balance the budget
- On February 19, 2013 the School Board adopted a preliminary budget depicting a tax increase of 0.79 mills or 5.82% with a total millage impact of 14.36
- The Final General Fund Budget of $143,585,949 depicts a tax increase of 0.26 mills or 1.92% totaling 13.83 mills
- As of June 25, 2013, one mill of property tax produces approximately $7,396,917 at a 100% collection rate
- A borrowing completed for capital improvement projects, technology infrastructure projects and bus purchases redirects expenditures from the General Fund to a Capital Projects Fund allowing the District to mitigate any additional millage impact for 2013-14 other than required debt service
- The Governor’s proposed budget for PSD contains $144,815 in the Accountability Block Grant and restored $248,670 in Basic Education Funding, although uncertainty surrounding the state budget still exists
- By comparison, the 2012-13 Budget required a tax increase of 3.67% with a total budget of $137,763,365
Superintendent Richard T. Sniscak noted, “We are extremely proud of our district leadership team as they continue to curtail expenditures which has helped us mitigate a tax increase in our community. By utilizing a collaborative approach, we can ensure that the competing interests of a high quality education and the ability of the tax-paying public to afford it maintain a respectful balance.”