The Parkland Board of School Directors has approved a 1.2% tax increase with a 2022-23 Proposed General Fund Budget amounting to $216,244,747. The approval was made during the regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, June 21, 2022. The 2022-2023 Proposed General Fund Budget represents a 7.5% increase of 2021-22 expenditures. In order to minimize the tax rate for the Parkland taxpayers, the Final Budget includes the appropriation of $5,074,177 of Fund Balance to balance the 2022-2023 General Fund Budget and is a balanced budget.
The Proposed Budget represents a total mill rate of 15.90 or a 1.2% millage increase from last year. The value of the Homestead/Farmstead gaming credit is $139.92 per approved property which helps offset property taxes. The Homestead credit is $28.58 more than last year’s credit.
Key Points of the 2022-23 Proposed Budget:
● The 2022-2023 proposed final budget is a culmination of the budget process which began back in the fall. The focus for this budget has been on 5 areas:
1. Students and Educational Programs
2. Growth of the District
3. Planned Use of Federal Funding
4. Debt Service
5. Fund Balance Appropriation
● Parkland real estate value is increasing (as is real estate across the area) – the updated total taxable assessed value from Lehigh County as of May 9th is valued at $8,862,949,600, an increase of almost $322,871,249 as compared to the current year.
● As of May 9, 2022, one mill of property tax is projected to produce $8,757,855. This represents an increase of $474,029 compared to the prior year due to natural real estate growth.
● The Homestead/Farmstead allocation from the State (property tax relief/gaming money) is valued at $2,241,123 which is an increase of $440,964 over the current year. Although budget neutral, meaning it does not reduce Parkland’s shortfall since it’s a passthrough benefit for taxpayers, this is an increase for the taxpayer of $28.58 for the year and will result in a total tax reduction per eligible taxpayer of $139.92.
● The budget includes a Board-endorsed plan for a 10th year of capital improvement projects that includes the continuing renovations at Schnecksville Elementary School, a Kratzer Elementary School addition, improving the bus loop at Fogelsville Elementary School, planning the construction of a new Operations Center, and various roofing, bus and technology purchases.
● This year, both the teacher’s and support staff unions ratified contracts that help the District project salaries and benefits in the coming years and ensuring labor peace for years to come.
● The average residential assessed value is $245,193. Residential Taxpayers represent 61% of Parkland’s tax base with 21,862 residential properties. 3,475 are commercial/industrial/agricultural properties making up 39% of the tax base. In total, there are 25,377 taxable properties.
● The allowable Act 1 Index is 3.4% which is equivalent to the allowable tax increase without a referendum. Parkland’s Final Budget includes a 1.2% increase.
● Parkland has not raised taxes to the allowable Index in the last 6 years.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Madson noted, “Investing in our students and curriculum is Parkland’s primary mission. We balance this with investment in District facilities to maintain an environment conducive to learning and to protect District facilities which are taxpayer assets. This budget represents the most essential educational needs of students while considering our current economic climate and the ability and willingness of our community to support a quality, comprehensive educational program. I appreciate all of the departments within our organization who have contributed to this final budget plan.”