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Palisades to propose no-tax increase budget for 2023-24


The Palisades School District’s Fiscal Committee is recommending a no-tax increase budget for 2023-24. The announcement was made during the committee report at the March 15 school board meeting.

For 2022-23, the board had approved a 1.5 percent tax increase, with state gaming relief reducing the impact considerably. The last time a tax increase had been greater than 1 percent was the 1.37 percent approved by the board for the 2011-12 school year, with all years since being less than 1 percent. That included four years where there was no increase.

During the budget discussion last spring, officials noted that Palisades had the second lowest millage rate among the 13 Bucks County school districts. Only the New Hope-Solebury district, where the earned income tax was 1 percent versus 0.5 percent in Palisades, showed a lower millage rate.

In addition, they noted that while special planning helped keep the total tax increase in the district at 5.1 percent since the 2010-2011 school year, while pension contributions increased by 667 percent, they had not been able to plan for what turned out to be a charter school expenditures increase by 316 percent during that period. District officials have repeatedly called for reform by the state legislature, to no avail, to address the charter funding issue, as well as oversight issues.

Also at the March 15 meeting, the board acted to formalize a long-running agreement between the district and Bucks County Community College, in order to comply with new requirements for its comprehensive plan. The agreement allows for high school students to be taught by the college faculty, while affording the opportunity to earn dual credits. The board also acted separately to streamline the process for students to gain participation.

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