Lower Dauphin taxpayers did not see a property tax rate increase in the 2014-15 school year after the school board approved a $60.9 million budget in June.
This budget represents the sixth time in the last seven years that taxes were not increased by the school district. The millage rate remains at 18.42 mills, resulting in a $1,842 tax bill on a home assessed at $100,000.
The budget included a $2.9 million transfer from budgetary reserves to pay for roofing projects at the high school and middle school as well as the construction of a field house at the turf fields on the middle school campus. Removing this $2.9 million in one-time expenditures, the district budget is increasing 2.5 percent from last year.
Superintendent Sherri Smith said that after subtracting the state-mandated increase in pension payments from the bottom line this budget is only $249,310 more than last year’s budget.
To keep expenditures low, cuts were made, with the biggest decrease in expenditures in the area of debt payments where the school board’s decision in October to pay down and refinance some bonds resulted in an $878,000 decrease in the 2014-15 budget. The budget allowed the district to move forward on several initiatives including a new card-key system for building doors, new textbooks as part of the transition to the PA Core Standards, technology initiatives and installation of speed bumps at the middle school.
On the revenue side of the budget, the district is enjoying slight growth in earned income taxes and property taxes of $484,841. The district is also relying on the governor’s Ready to Learn grant for $431,104 in new revenue to help balance the budget. Aside from that grant, revenue from the state and federal government has seen a slight decrease.
For the 2014-15 school year local sources make up 65.8 percent of the Lower Dauphin budget; state revenue is another 32.1 percent and federal revenue is 2.0 percent.
Lower Dauphin School District Tax Rates 2014-15
|Real Estate Millage||18.42 mills|
|Earned Income Tax||1 percent of earned income|
|Per Capita Tax||$5|
|Lower Dauphin Budget 2014-15|