U-CF school board unanimously approves preliminary budget

The U-CF School Board Directors voted 8 – 0 to approve the
2012 – 2013 preliminary budget which will trigger a 3.71 percent school tax
increase for Chester County taxpayers if the preliminary budget is ultimately adopted
as the final budget. Delaware
County residents would see a 0.73 percent decrease in their school taxes. (The differences in county school tax
burden are driven by differing real estate tax and related millage
assessments.)

Prior to the vote, Keith Knauss, school board finance
committee director, said that changes to the budget are still possible because
of outside factors.

“Variables include Gov. Tom Corbett’s 2012 – 2013 budget
proposals scheduled for February 7 disclosure and UCFSD employee health care
cost projection.”

Knauss added that he was looking forward to hearing from the
community during the next few months.

While the preliminary budget passed without opposition,
Board Director Kathleen Do said she supports the spending plan because it “provides
the district flexibility including submission to Pennsylvania Department of
Education for a $632,339 retirement contribution funding exception. However there will be much discussion
over the next few months which could reduce the amount of increased tax
burden.”

Do said after the meeting that she wanted to make sure the
public understood “that by making the decision to apply for the exceptions
doesn’t mean we will accept them later. It simply means that we will apply for
them now and make a decision down the road if we are successful in getting the
exceptions. I want us top have the flexibility so we’ll know whether we have
them if we’re going to need them.”

Exceptions allow the board to raise taxes beyond the Act I
limit without the need to hold a referendum.

The 8 – 0 board approval did not include Board Director Jeff
Leiser’s vote. Leiser was not present due to an out of town death in his
family.

The next board meetings are a Feb. 13 work session and the
regular meeting one Feb. 27. A
copy of the preliminary budget may be found on the district's Web site.

Public hearings for the budget will be held 6 p.m. on March
12, and 7 p.m. March 13 – 14, if needed. They will be held at the District
Office public conference room.
Adoption of the final 2012 – 2013 budget and the levying of real estate
taxes are expected to take place on June 18.

* Rich Schwartzman
added content for this story.

About Jim Phreaner

After 41 years of auditing large NYSE global corporations, former IRS Agent Jim Phreaner was looking for a project in retirement with fewer regulations and more people. He joined the staff at Chadds Ford Live more than a year ago. James Edward “Jim” Phreaner, 64, died suddenly in his Birmingham Township home on Dec.17, 2012. Jim was a devoted husband, son, father, friend, and neighbor.

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One Response to “U-CF school board unanimously approves preliminary budget”

  1. dougmarsh says:

    If the US inflation rate for 2011 was 3.0% and yet the school board raises taxes by 3.71% I don’t see how tax payers can continue to pay school taxes which are greater than inflation.

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