Parkland School District administrators said Tuesday that, when completed, the 2013-14 school budget will carry a tax increase of less than 3 percent.
Administrators presented a recommended $1.5 million in budget adjustments to a board Education committee Tuesday morning that would bring the preliminary tax hike down from 5.82 percent (a 14.36-mill increase) to 4.35 percent (14.16 mills).
That, said superintendent Richard Sniscak, brings the budget down to Act 1 levels, plus allowable exceptions.
The Parkland School Board approved a $145.7 million preliminary budget last month, which is the first step in the budget process.
"We're going to keep going as low as possible under 3 percent," Sniscak said. "We're down a significant amount. There's a lot of uncertainty with the state budget and pension reform, but our work is not done."
The recommended budget adjustments are:
- A $250,000 increase from the district's fund balance
- A $250,000 earned income tax adjustment
- A $250,000 budget reserve adjustment
- A $28,177 adjustment in athletic supplies
- A $100,00 adjustment in energy savings
- A $100,000 adjustment in IU special education
- A $24,249 adjustment in the Lehigh Carbon Community College budget
- A $1,938 adjustment in the Lehigh Carbon Technical Institute budget
- A $35,558 adjustment in Parkland's share of LCTI's Academic center fund balance
- A $361,028 adjustment in salaries
- A $112,331 adjustment in benefits
Director of Business Administration John Vignone said he is "cautiously optimistic," with the way the current budget is trending and added he is comfortable with projecting these adjustments.
"The puzzle is all lining up and it makes sense," Vignone said. "We like where this is trending. The climate is right and I'm confident that we'll be under three percent. The taxpayers will appreciate that."
The current 2012-13 budget socked taxpayers with a 3.67 percent tax increase.
Administrators will hold a budget seminar on Friday, April 26 in order to tackle further budget issues.