The Solanco School District is in the process of developing its budget for the 2021-2022 school year. In a budget presentation to the Solanco School Board on Monday, December 7, Solanco Business Manager Sandy Tucker said the Pennsylvania Department of Education has established an Act 1 index that would limit an increase in Solanco’s real estate taxes to no greater than 3.5-percent. Tucker discussed possible board adoption of an “opt out” resolution which would commit the district to a tax increase within the Act 1 index of 3.5-percent. A real estate tax hike of 3.5-percent would increase property taxes in Solanco by $38.36 per $100,000 of assessed value, and would generate about $1-million in revenue for the district.
The school district anticipates a reduction in total revenue for 2021-2022. The budget could contain a potential deficit of as much as $4-million. Major factors in a tax increase and potential budget deficit would include district expenditures for personal protection equipment and disinfectant supplies, a 10-percent growth in the district’s healthcare costs, a 2-percent increase in payroll and benefit expenses, increased pension costs to the district, an expansion of contracted services, and a potential reduction in the collection of earned income tax because of uncertainty pertaining to the economy and possible delays in business re-openings and hirings.
Approval of a proposed final budget is expected in April, with final budget adoption required in June.