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Souderton Area School District hikes taxes by 5.3% index


Souderton Area School District’s board of directors unanimously passed a balanced 2024-’25 budget of $153,550,804, with a tax increase of 5.3%.

That’s the maximum property tax hike allowable by Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Act 1 in the district without an exception or voter referendum.

The current tax rate is 32.729 mills. The new tax rate will be 34.4636 mills for the 2024-’25 school year. The proposed budget shows no cuts in programs or personnel.

Mr. Michael Taylor, CPA, SASD Board Secretary and Finance Committee member, advised that a resident with a median homestead assessed property value of $158,295, can expect their real estate taxes to rise to $5,455.42, an annual increase of $275.

He also reported that this year’s Homestead Rebate will result in a $308.52 reduction in eligible homes’ real estate taxes, reducing the annual increase to $224.

SASD Board Vice President and Finance Chair Stephen Nelson advised that the district is passing a balanced budget, but added its worth noting the following:

• Inflation this year was 3% but 20% over the past three years.

• Cost of programs for students with special needs, which are not funded proportionally by the federal and state governments, is increasing.

• The number of students with special needs is also on the rise.

• Employees will receive raises.

• Insurance costs are going up.

Nelson further stated that this tax increase is higher than the past 10-year average tax increase of 1.49%.

Taylor noted that in January the board presented projected revenues, which showed two-thirds coming from taxpayers. In February, it presented planned expenditures, two-thirds of which were salary and benefits-related.

This year’s initial budget proposal showed a potential deficit of $5.2 million but the end result was a projected balanced budget.

Last year’s $145 million operating budget was projected to include an anticipated deficit of $1.9 million but by year’s end it totals $4 million.

In other matters, the board recognized SASD’s elementary school students’ accomplishments at the Montgomery County Intermediate Challenge 24 competition. Elisa Ball was appointed to serve as SASD board treasurer for the coming school year.

Residents continued to demand that the school board commit to transparency by presenting documents that are referenced in each meeting’s agenda.

There are no scheduled SASD meetings in July. The next SASD committee meeting is Wednesday Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. The action meeting is at 7 p.m. Aug. 29.

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