3.49% Tax Hike Proposed in Updated HAVSD 2013-14 Preliminary Budget
Haverford School District Business Administrator Richard Henderson provided an updated proposed preliminary 2013-14 school budget to school board officials at a meeting on Jan. 24.
Since their last budget presentation, the school tax levy proposed in the preliminary 2013-14 budget for the Haverford School District has increased from 2.9 percent to a now 3.49 percent or 27.6640 millage rate.
Haverford School District Business Administrator Richard Henderson stated that the proposed tax increase and millage rate will most likely be revised. "Once we get to the proposed final [budget], that's when we can really lock and load those numbers," said Henderson.
A proposed preliminary budget presentation was held on Jan. 24 before the Haverford School Board with updated, but not final, figures and numbers.
"It's early. There's not a whole lot of detailed items that we have available to work with," said Henderson. "State funding is still under uncertainty, so we have a bunch of items that we're going to cover in the preliminary budget...which is what we know to date and our best assumptions of what we think is going to happen."
One of the new changes in the updated proposed 2013-14 preliminary school budget is that the Haverford School District can take advantage of the special education exception. In total, with the special education exception and the PSERS (Public School Employees Retirement System) exception, the district could see approximately $1.4 million in revenue money.
Henderson said the biggest "negative" in the budget is the increase of PSERS from 12.36 percent to 16.93 percent, or a net increase of approximately $1.1 million in costs.
In addition, a first-look from the district employees' healthcare provider, Blue Cross Blue Shield, reveals an approximate 15.05 percent increase in healthcare costs, or approximately $1.1 million.
Another increase in the 2013-14 preliminary budget includes the debt service from a 2010 bond issue and increasing by $372,000.
The updated preliminary budget also includes a beginning fund balance of $2,627,612 and an ending fund balance of $660,760. At the first preview preliminary budget presentation, those numbers were a beginning fund balance of $2,315,355 and an ending fund balance of $414,685.
"We're already starting the year in the hole because our basic expenditures have already outstripped our revenues for the current year," said Henderson. "So we're already pulling our fund balance by just under $1 million. But, then, with the increases that we already get into next year, we're pulling it down even further."
Henderson said the district will have a lot of work ahead of them to look at more opportunities in the budget on ways to save.
"Every year it's touch and go," said Henderson. "This next year we've got a lot of challenges in front of us, we've got a lot of work to do over the next month or two to really get behind a lot of the numbers and our operations to see what kind of opportunities exist."
If the Board approves the 3.49 percent tax increase, the district could see an approximate $2.9 million in revenue.
At the next school board meeting, on Feb. 7, Haverford School District officials will vote to adopt the proposed preliminary 2013-14 budget.
View the proposed preliminary 2013-14 Haverford School District budget in the PDF file under the photo gallery.