Changes To School Taxes May Affect Some Pike And Monroe County Residents

A proposed final budget for East Stroudsburg Area School District (ESASD) may leave some taxpayers with higher bills while others’ liabilities decrease.

On Monday, June 20, the ESASD Finance Committee will meet to vote on the proposed final budget for the 2022-23 school year, which includes millage changes to Monroe and Pike counties. At the meeting, the School Board will give their Budget Presentation that consists of several variables, including a 4.8% change in the Act 1 index, school district tax rate rebalancing that effect Monroe and pike county, state funding updates, and expenditure overview and major cost drivers.

The Act 1 index determines the maximum amount of new tax revenue that can be generated. According to ESASD’s budget presentation, in December, the board passed a resolution to not exceed the Act 1 index. The maximum new tax revenue allowed in 2022-23 is $6.4 million. Both Monroe and Pike counties experienced a 4.8% change from the rebalanced millage, which means the 2022-23 Act 1 Index is 4.8% for both counties.

According to the State Tax Equalization Board’s (STEB) market value impact on the millage, Monroe County’s 2021-22 Budget Millage equals 31.27, while Pike County’s 2021-22 Budget Millage equals 123.39. The 2021-22 STEB rebalanced millage is the new base millage for 2022-23 budget discussions and decisions. While Monroe County’s 2021-22 rebalance saw no change in the millage, remaining at 31.27, Pike County’s 2021-22 Rebalanced Millage increased to 128.47. 2022-23 Proposed Final Budget millage equals 30.79 and 128.33 for Monroe and Pike, respectively, resulting in a Monroe County millage decrease of 1.5% and a Pike County millage increase of 4%, making a yearly change in the median bill of -$65.77 in Monroe County and $136.59 in Pike County.

On May 1, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced a significant increase in the 2022-23 State Property Tax Reduction Allocation (SPTRA). SPTRA reduces local property taxes via the distribution of state gaming funds through the Taxpayer Relief Act. District allocation is expected to be $5,475,081 in 2022-23, an increase from 2021-22 allocation, which was $4,345,813.

Additionally, the Governor’s 2022-23 Budget Proposal includes a substantial increase in Basic Education Funding (BEF), Level Up, and Special Education Funding (SEF). ESASD estimates an increase in BEF by $7.6 million or 42% via the Governor’s proposal in addition to a SEF increase by $1.3 million or 25% in Governor’s proposal.

Compared to 2021-22’s revenue of $172,788,143, 2022-23’s revenue is $179,500,593, a $6,712,450 or 3.9% increase. This includes a reduction in Local taxes due to increased SPTRA funding, offset by an increase in State funding via ESASD’s assumed BEF and SEF allocations, which is an estimated increase of $634,187, a 4% increase from last year.

2022-23’s total expenditure is projected to be $184,359,728, an increase of $7,042,768 or 4.0% from 2021-22. Considering ESASD’s proposed 2022-23 budget is estimated to be $179,500,593, it remains unclear where the additional $4,859,135 needed to cover the remainder of the projected expenditure will come from. On May 9, Superintendent William Riker asked the board to consider a half percent tax rate increase. “I can’t help but to say it’s the unpopular thing, but when you look at a half a percent tax increase bringing in half a million dollars, I do think it’s something the board should consider,” said Riker. “It’s not a lot, but it’s something that you at least know you’re suring that up moving forward should you ever realize that deficit, or if nothing else, you at least reduce that deficit moving forward.”

The Budget Presentation and final budget vote are open to the public. The meeting starts at 7:00 PM at the Carl T. Secor Administration Center and is open to the public. The administration also plans to monitor state budget discussions, continue to analyze and prioritize expenditures, and monitor enrollment and staffing requirements at the meeting. They plan to update the budget based on new developments and discuss how the board would close a resulting additional budget deficit if the estimated increases in BEF and SEF State funding do not materialize.

Meeting Address: N Courtland St, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301

Budget Plan

Proposed Budget

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