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School Board Gives Final Approval To Budget

Average homeowner will see a $64 tax hike

Making adjustments until the last minute, the Bensalem Township Board of School Directors on Wednesday approved a 2012-2013 budget of $120.6 million.

The spending plan will raise the tax bill of the average township homeowner by about $64.

That compares to an initial estimate in January of $89, but is a little more than the $60 projected at the start of Wednesday's board meeting.

Board member Elizabeth Cerasi proffered an amendment to raise the millage rate from 141.15 to 144.35, which translated to $4.40 on the tax hike. It was approved on a 5-3 vote, with newest board members Kevin McKay, Matthew Grodsky and Pam Strange dissenting.

The final vote on the budget was approved with the exact same vote.

Total 2012-2013 expenditures represent a decrease of about $40,000 from current-year spending. Revenues stand at $119.895 million, with $703,138 being drawn down to address the majority of the financial gap.

Universal full-day kindergarten has been included in the budget for the first time with a cost of about $700,000. Director of Business Operations Jack Myers repeated Wednesday that eight teaching positions are being added as a result of the full-day kindergarten expansion. He previously said at least 20 expected retirements will likely help the district avoid any furloughs.

Information provided by the Bensalem School District.

P2YA June 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Yeah, well that "$64 average" is an elusive number. Most outside of the oldest sections of the township will pay far more. This board once again proved that what taxpayers may think and feel is their lowest priority. They happily roll along in a business as usual mode approving one spending increase after another while ignoring the impact this economy has had on people's ability to pay for the resulting tax increases. This is evidenced by the approval of a full-day Kindergarten extravagance and a secret (no public input), long-term deal with the teacher's union. The only way to get the point across is to send some of these people packing and replace them with candidates that can use the words fiscal responsibility and austerity in the same sentence and mean it! The irony is that all of the current board members are Republicans, which are supposed to stand for holding the line on taxes. Some of these folks wear a Republican cloak but embrace the Democratic philosophy of tax and spend. The worst is yet to come as costs of the pension bomb are added in year after year starting in the next cycle. You'll have all these now longer-term commitments made this year, plus increased pension costs, dictating that many taxpayer's will see annual increases in the hundreds of dollars over what they paid the year before. It would suggest that some economies will need to be made to balance the scales, but this board (as currently seated) will make none of these.
Wendy Saddler June 17, 2012 at 03:03 PM
P2YA You hit the nail on the head.

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