Central Bucks School District’s Director of Finance Brian Loftus presented the final budget for the 2019-20 school year May 26.
The proposed final budget is balanced at $342,248,613; with no tax increase. The budget supports the district’s goals and objectives relative to technology, capital planning, staff development, and most importantly, a continued commitment to educational excellence – meeting every Central Bucks student’s educational, social, and emotional needs, Loftus said.
After eight months of effort spent in preparation, and collaboration among the board, the board finance committee, and the administration, the final budget was presented in anticipation of board approval during their meeting on June 11.
Loftus explained during his presentation that three resolutions will be presented for the board’s consideration – adoption of the final general fund budget, approval of a homestead/farmstead property tax relief resolution, and adoption of the tax levy resolution.
With the state reporting strong gambling revenues, and homestead/farmstead exclusion properties largely steady, there will be a slight increase of about $6 over the 2018-2019 per property, resulting in rebates of $205.63.
With the final budget prepared, local revenues (almost 80 percent of the district’s revenues come from local sources) landed 1.2 percent over current year’s projections, state revenues (about 21 percent of the district’s revenue) are up about 2.1 percent and federal revenues (about 1 percent of the district’s total revenues) are up 1.5 percent Overall, revenues are up about 1.5 percent.
On the expenditure side, the primary drivers are salaries and benefits, as well as an investment in the new Math in Focus elementary math resource. However, these expenses are being partially offset by declining principal and interest payments on the district’s debt as a result of the $30 million debt defeasance approved by the board.
In addition, the district will be decreasing transfers to the capital projects fund by $1.3 million. With that said, the budget still calls for over $18 million to be transferred to the capital fund, which will adequately fund the district’s technology and infrastructure improvement goals.
The district is projecting savings in prescription and health care costs through more efficient employee benefits administration, with no change in the level of benefits provided to employees, further offsetting expenditure increases in this area.
While a 2.8 percent tax increase is allowable under the law, the district is proposing a 0 percent real estate tax increase. Once approved, this will represent the fifth straight year (and the sixth out of the last seven) that the board approved a balanced budget with no property tax increase.
The final budget and its accompanying resolutions will be presented at the June 11 meeting of the board, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the board room at 16 Welden Drive in Doylestown. Follow the budget preparation and download previous presentations.