GASD proposes zero percent tax increase

Gettysburg Area School District Business Manager Belinda Wallen proposed a draft 2023-24 district budget with a zero percent tax increase on Monday evening.  The Board of Directors voted unanimously to move forward with it.

Wallen said the district expected to receive revenues of about $69 million, representing a 2.7 percent increase from last year. Expenses are expected to rise an average of 4.1 percent, including a 13.9 percent increase in category 500, (“Other Purchased Services”), which includes transportation and charter schools.

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Wallen said the district would use about $660,000 from the district’s unassigned fund balance to make a zero percent tax increase possible.

The district noted that its tax increases have been substantially less than the allowed maxima defined by the State Act 1 regulations, and have averaged less than one percent over the past 5 years.

Wallen aid the proposed budget would not negatively affect programs or other services.

Wallen said the district was facing a “cliff” going forward regarding programs that have been funded by about $8 million in COVID-19 related Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.  Wallen said the district was using ESSER to fund about $1.5 million in programs including cyber and mental health services and that the district would have to decide how to meet the shortfall in the future.

The district never knows how much to expect from state funds at the time they prepare their budget, but Wallen said it had budgeted 50 percent of what Gov. Shapiro has proposed for education.

More information on the budget, including how the district has used ESSERS funding, is available on the district website.

Board Vice President Al Moyer thanked Superintendent Jason Perrin and the budgeting team for their work.

The board will hold a public meeting on the budget on Monday, May 15 at 7:00 p.m. in the district office.

chuck

Charles (Chuck) Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Owner, Publisher, and Editor in Chief. I would like to hear from you. Please contact me at cstangor@gettysburgconnection.org.

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