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Council Rock eyes 2.6% tax increase; budget has money for full-day K


The Council Rock School Board discussed a real estate tax increase of 2.6% during a special Finance Committee meeting this month.

If approved, a home with an assessed value of $45,957 would pay an additional $166 per year.

The school board recommended a tax increase for four different purposes, including eight additional budgeted positions for the 2024-25 school year, accounting for 0.57% of the budget.

“These would be permanent positions that come out of the budget every year,” Anthony Rapp, Director of Business Administration, said.

Budgeted positions include supervisors of Curriculum and Instruction for Special Education and two English Language Development (ELD) Specialists. The budget will include a state ELD grant of $72,180 for Ukrainian students. This needs to be used halfway through the school year.

“We’ve come to the board several times in a row asking for EL teachers,” Superintendent Andrew Sanko told the committee. “Based on what you have in front of you, we feel pretty confident that that is going to help our students and our district.”

Additionally, 0.57% accounts for the implementation of full-day kindergarten, which the district is considering

It has hired a third party — Hanover Research — to survey district families and staff to gauge interest and has scheduled a June 4 public meeting on the topic. The “Kindergarten Information Session” will take place at Holland Middle School and begin at 7 p.m.

Some board members opposed the 2.6% tax increase. Bob Hickey, school board member, motioned reducing a tax increase from 2.6% to 2.1%.

“I’m always looking to cut taxes,” Hickey said. He suggested cutting the debt service funds from 1% to 0.5%. If reduced by half, $800,000 would still be allocated toward debt.

Rapp countered that a tax increase is necessary to keep up with inflation and recommended against a 0.5% decrease. A debt service of 1% would get enough funding for one of the two elementary schools scheduled for renovation as well as putting future projects, such as the two high schools, on the right track for renovations.

“We feel pretty confident that this will help our district,” Sanko said in regards to the budget summary. “It gives us additional resources to put in front of our students.

As for the 2024-25 tax rebate program, all income levels will qualify for an increase in rebates, with the maximum rebate increasing from $650 to $1,000. Additionally, the maximum income to qualify for PA rebate increased from $35,000 to $45,000.

“I think the rebate program is going to reach more people,” board member Linda Stone said. “Because the state increased the dollar amount, it probably makes it a little more worth it for individuals to apply.”

The rebate program will help individuals at the lower income level in the case of a real estate tax increase.

Rapp hopes to have a final budget approval by June 20. The 2024-25 school year operating budget must be approved by June 30.

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