Lower Dauphin property owners will see a 3 percent increase in their property taxes for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year in a proposed budget given preliminary approval by the school board Monday, May 2.
The board voted 6-2to approve the budget which contained a 3 percent property tax increase. The tax increase will bring in an additional $930,673 in revenue.
The $73,996,000 budget would raise property taxes for the first time in more than a decade. The millage rate would increase to 18.97, which means that a home with an assessed value of $100,000 would pay $1,897 in property taxes.
Superintendent Rob Schultz said the district will need to use $5,638,784 from its fund balance to supplement the district’s revenue sources. Using that much from the fiscal reserves will leave $8,463,137 remaining in the district’s rainy day fund.
Dr. Schultz said the budget has been challenging with revenue continuing to lag behind the pace of expenditures. Local revenue sources, which include property taxes and earned income taxes, are budgeted to increase 2.13 percent or $845,254. The district receives the bulk of its revenue through property taxes and the property tax line is only growing 1.59 percent from the previous year.
Other factors impacting the budget come on the expenditure side, where the district continues to see increases in state-mandated pension spending, tuition payments to charter schools, and medical costs. In pension spending, the district is allocating $10,395,717 next year, an increase of $219,055. Charter school tuition payments are projected to increase by $455,000 for next year, resulting in a $2.15 million line item (for reference, costs for charter schools in 2019-2020 were $1.48 million). Medical benefits will total more than $7 million next year (for reference, costs for medical benefits were $5.4 million in the 2019-2020 school year).
Proposed Lower Dauphin School District Tax Rates 2022-23