Parkland raises taxes for the first time in 2 years

The Parkland School District will raise property taxes for the first time in two years, after the school board approved the district’s budget for 2022-23 on Tuesday.

In a 6-3 vote, council approved the $216.2 million budget, which includes a 1.2% property tax increase. This increase will generate $1.67 million in property taxes, as the district projects a 7.5% increase in spending for the coming year.

The new mileage rate is 15.90, which reflects an increase of 0.19 mils from 2021-22. A homeowner whose home is valued at $245,193, the district average, will see their property taxes go up by $17.64.

Board members Jarrett Coleman, Patrick Foose and Jay Rohatgi voted against the budget, citing higher taxes.

Coleman declared victory over State Senator Pat Browne in the Republican primary for the 16th Senate District last month.

Coleman, Foose and Rohatgi said the district should not raise taxes at a time when gasoline and food prices are at record highs.

“I don’t think this tax is appropriate,” Foose said at Tuesday’s meeting. “We are facing a severe global inflation crisis. …As costs rise, districts must support our families in their hour of financial need.

The three dissenting council members also noted that the district had previously suggested other budget options to the council that did not raise taxes. These options were based more on Parkland’s fund balance.

In the approved 2022-23 budget, the district is already counting down $5.1 million of its fund balance.

However, the 1.2% property tax increase is still less than the 3.4% allowed by the state’s Act 1 index, which determines the maximum increases in most taxes a school district can. take.

Parkland has not raised taxes to the authorized index for the past six years.

Additionally, the value of the Homestead/Farmstead Property Tax Relief Funds is $139.92 per approved property, which equates to a tax reduction of $28.58 more than the previous year.

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Board Chairman David Hein and Vice-Chair Carol Facchiano voted for the budget, along with Board Members Robert Cohen, Lisa Roth, Annette Wilcox and Marisa Ziegler.

“I understand that raising taxes at any time will never be a popular decision,” Wilcox said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, this rising cost is also affecting the neighborhood. We need to transport and feed our students, heat our buildings, make building repairs and upgrades, and pay competitive raises to attract and retain staff at a time when shortages of teachers and bus drivers are happening across the board. national scale.

Roth said the district needs to raise taxes now, as it grows, so the district has the money to build another school building, if it becomes necessary in the future. Ziegler also said Parkland already has the lowest mileage rate in Lehigh County.

The budget includes plans for the 10th year of capital improvement projects. These investments relate to the roof, the renovation of elementary schools, a bus loop project and a new operations centre.

“Investing in our students and our program is Parkland’s core mission,” Superintendent Mark Madson said in a statement. “We balance this with investments in district facilities to maintain an environment conducive to learning and to protect district facilities, which are taxpayer assets.”

School districts are still waiting to find out what funding they will receive from the state. Governor Tom Wolf’s budget must be passed by the Legislative Assembly by June 30.

Morning Call reporter Jenny Roberts can be reached at 484-903-1732 and jrob[email protected].

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