Cocalico SB adopts $54.3 million budget: 2.57% tax hike

By on June 18, 2014

The Cocalico School District’s Board of Directors adopted a 2014-15 budget Monday that raises the real estate tax rate by 2.57 percent.

The board voted unanimously to adopt a $54.3 million budget that raises the school property tax rate by .56 of a mill, from 21.76 mills to 22.32 mills.

The result is a $77.62 tax increase for a median-assessed home in the district, valued at $138,000.

The plan stays within the state-recommended limit of 2.6 percent increase over the current budget.

The spending plan has nearly $54.28 million in expenses with t $50.19 million in revenue. Reserves funds of $4.3 million will make up most of the difference.

The final budget shows an increase of 4.23 percent over the prior year’s budget. The millage increase will generate about $787,000. The district chose not to request any additional revenue through allowable exceptions.

Since approving the proposed final budget last month, officials managed to decrease the final budget by $100,000.

“On the revenue side, we actually had a reduced revenue by ten thousand dollars, that was interim taxes and that was based on what we’re estimating this year,” said Sherri Stull, business manager and board member.

“And also what the real estate forecast is for next year which is dismal again, so we did take that number down,” she said.

The district will receive approximately $1.1 million in proceeds from the state property tax refund-the gaming revenues which will be allocated among the approved homestead/farmstead properties.

“The business office looks at the budget in October and with the administration, keep reviewing and trimming, said board president Allen Dissinger.

“There’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes that people are not aware of. The public that didn’t attend these meetings doesn’t know how many hundreds of hours are put into preparing for the budget.”

Expense highlights:

• Budget to budget increase in total expenditures of 4.23 percent or $2,197,102.

• Professional contract increase of $225,633.

• Employers’ retirement contribution increase from 16.93 percent to 21.40 percent resulting in an increase of 26.26 percent or $984,320.

• Increase in health insurance of $387,016 or 7.03%.

• Fund balance previously set aside for $250,000 of Technology Equipment.

Revenue Highlights:

• Overall budget to budget increase in revenues of 3.52%, or $1,708,295.

• Although the tax increase utilizing the allowable 2.6 percent adjusted index generates $787,678 in revenue, the district will realize only $598,766 in new revenue over the actual received this year, primarily due to property reassessments.

• Investment income, realty transfer taxes, and delinquent property taxes are all projected to remain relatively unchanged.

• Special Education subsidy is expected to increase 2.21 percent or $35,248. Other state subsidies, including Basic Ed, are expected to remain stagnant except for the retirement subsidy, which is only increasing due to the rate increase in the employers’ share.

To calculate a property tax bill: assessed property value x .02232 = tax amount

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