Mechanicsburg Area School Board Considers Ways to Address 2022-23 Budget Deficit | education


Phyllis Zimmerman for The Sentinel

The Mechanicsburg Area School Board Thursday night reviewed a proposed district spending plan for 2022-23 that would include a 3.7% tax increase.

The proposed budget would increase the county’s tax levy from the current $14.6654 million to $15.2080 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year beginning July 1. Owners of homes valued at a current county average of $189,000 would see their tax bill increase by $103 next year to $2,764.

So far, district revenue for 2022-23 is projected at $83,886,813, while next year’s proposed expenditure is $87,658,988. The proposed tax hike would reduce the projected deficit to between $3.77 million and $2.18 million, according to draft figures presented Tuesday by District Business Administrator Greg Longwell.

The 3.7% tax increase would be split into two revenue streams. One stream — an increase of 1.5 percent — would pay off the district’s real estate debt. A second stream, which funds the district’s rising operating costs, would increase by 2.2%

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The largest proposed increases in expenses include personnel expenses, which increase by $3.9 million, contracted services and tuition, $1,187,556; Mortgage Lending, $648,685; and utilities, supplies and equipment, and “other adjustments” $313,094, Longwell said.

The district is proposing to add 14.5 staff positions to allow for continued expansion of the district’s programs and enrollments. The proposed additions include two administrative posts, six specialist staff and 6.5 support staff.

On the revenue side, the district is forecasting a $2 million fall in federal revenue next year due to an expected decline in federal stimulus payments initiated at the beginning of the pandemic. Overall, the district forecasts a $2.9 million increase in its local revenue over the next year, driven by expected growth in property appraisals, property transfers, income taxes and construction fees. The state education subsidy is also projected to increase by $901,394 next year, while the state special education subsidy for the district is expected to increase by $244,806 next year

The school board is scheduled to vote on the district’s proposed final 2022-23 budget on April 12, with final adoption scheduled for June 14. Until then, Longwell said, the district will continue to review next year’s proposed budget for adjustments.

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