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Central Bucks School District raises taxes 5.3 percent


Taxpayers in the Central Bucks School District will see a noticeable hike in their tax bills next year. It’s the fourth consecutive tax increase for the district, and the largest.

In an 8-0 vote, (board member Jim Pepper was absent) the school directors adopted the $418 million 2024-2025 budget that includes a 5.3 % tax increase.

For a homeowner with an average assessment of $40,000, that means an increase of $278, each year.

Under Act 1, Pennsylvania’s 2006 state property relief legislation, school districts are capped to 5.3% increases. If school boards want to exceed that, the tax hike has to be approved by voters.

The directors pointed to staff salaries, which account for some 80 percent of the budget, along with building renovations and repairs, as reasons for the tax increase.

Also driving the need for more revenue is the district’s realignment project that will shift sixth grade into middle schools and ninth-graders into the three high schools. Additionally, the start of full-day kindergarten, delayed from starting next year, will launch in the 2025-2026 school year.

Also on the horizon is a long-brewing lawsuit that plaintiffs maintain shows the school district underpaid hundreds of female teachers. Should the district lose the case, it could cost it more than $100 million.

Central Bucks argues the women intentionally selected male teachers who supported their discrimination claim, rather than identifying those hired in the same year, with similar skills and experience. A federal trial is scheduled for July 22 in Philadelphia.

Last year, the school board approved a 2.75% millage rate hike that raised average tax bills approximately $141, annually. In the previous two tax hikes, homeowners saw smaller increases of about $75 per year. In the prior six years, taxes had remained the same.

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