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Preliminary PVSD Budget: $6.5 Million Increase, $6.1 Million Shortfall

A first look at the budget shows a $6.5 million increase, $2.5 of which is an increased contribution to the Pennsylvania Employees State Retirement System.

 

Perkiomen Valley School District Business Administrator Jim Weaver presented a preliminary budget to the school board last night, which includes a $6.5 million, or 8.6 percent, increase over the 2012-2013 budget, and a $6.1 million shortfall for the 2013-2014 school year.

The biggest budget increase for the district is an almost 37% increase in the district’s required contribution to the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), which increased the budget $2.5 million on that expenditure alone.

Other expenditures included $1.6 million for salary increases, $305,000 for new salaries, a debt service increase of $684,000, other benefit increases of $639,000, and $300,000 in additional charter school tuitions,among other smaller increases.

Negotiations are beginning with the Perkiomen Valley Education Association, so  Weaver’s presentation assumed a “certain rate for budget purposes.”

Regarding revenue, the district saw gains in both real estate assessment and earned income tax. However, he says, there could be a negative affect relative to federal revenues depending on the “fiscal cliff.”

The state-approved two percent real estate tax increase will generate $1.2 million in additional revenue to cover the shortfall.

Weaver suggested that the board use $1 million in general fund reserves to shrink the shortfall to $5.1 million off the bat, but board member Gerry Barnefiher asked that it be removed from the initial talks to present a clearer picture of the district’s financial status to the public.

“This gives the impression that the true shortfall [with a two percent tax increase] is $3.9 million when, in reality, it is $4.9 million” said Barnefiher.

The district currently has to decide if it will increase taxes by the state-approved 2 percent, which would leave the shortfall at just under $5 million, or it will opt to use exclusions to raise taxes above the index without a referendum.  That decision must be made by a resolution before Jan. 31.

“As a reminder, last year’s first look presentation was an 8.52 percent [real estate tax increase],” said Weaver. “Remember, we ended up at a 2.25 because of the budget process, we massaged it, we looked at wants versus needs, we made cuts, we looked at some hard facts and figures.  We’ll do the same thing this year.”

Weaver’s entire budget presentation can be viewed on the Perkiomen Valley School District Website.

Karl December 12, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Anyone else notice a trend in where the shortfall lies?
Steven Kurcik December 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
This school board is totally out of control, they need to find ways to cut the budget, I am sure that millions are being wasted every year. My taxes are too high already and here in Trappe we are getting hit with another tax in 2013. Where does all this madness stop, STOP WASTING OUR MONEY.
Charles Steinberger December 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Lets cut some supervisors pay starting at the top. Then use the million they have sqyuirrled awaybefore they figure how to steal it. After that we should get rid of Corbett and his cronies and put a tax on the natural gas being stolen from our state.
Rebecca Utermohlen December 12, 2012 at 08:19 PM
This is ridiculous. All of these are for employee benefits, not for actually helping the kids learn better!
Roy Martin December 12, 2012 at 08:39 PM
These damn, worthless teachers make more when they retire! WHAT A SCAM!!!!
Jack Minster December 13, 2012 at 01:04 AM
http://perkiomenvalley.patch.com/blog_posts/perkiomen-valley-school-board-caught-wasting-tax-dollars-bf54e986 School Board candidates all recite a mantra about balancing the education of students with taxpayer fairness. We elect them to act as taxpayer watchdogs. To do the hard work of cutting waste, holding each department head accountable for every penny spent, negotiating with one of the most powerful unions in the nation. Only management-experienced, principled, hard fiscal conservatives with the stomachs for conflict and who can handle the heat can possibly bring change to this cycle of slop. Area Republicans are taking a close look at candidates we endorse for PV School Director. Five positions are up for candidacy this coming year. No magic pills will ever come from the Feds or state. It comes down to local candidates and local voters.

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