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Salisbury Township School District reviews preliminary budget

On Jan. 13, the Salisbury Township School District board of directors held its monthly operations committee meeting via Zoom.

Chief Financial Officer Michael Taylor presented the preliminary budget for the board’s edification. The budget begins its process early in January, with the final budget to be adopted by June 16.

First looking to assumed revenue sources coming in to the district for the 2021-2022 budget, Taylor said the current value of a mill, which is the amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of a property for 2021-2022 sits at $1,318,920. Other assumed revenue streams include local, state and federal funds. Expenditure considerations include salaries and benefits, transportation costs, special education and charter and cyber school costs with several notable increases expected in these areas.

With no increases in taxes or the Act 1 Index, which is the state’s measure for determining property tax increases justified by wage inflation, there would be a budget shortfall of over $2 million. If the state determines they will allow Act 1 Index increases, exceptions and tax increases, that would lower the deficit in the budget, but it would still loom large at $1,234,343, Taylor said.

Still unknown, there are several factors that would have bearing on the balance of the budget. These include, but are not limited to, the state budget, tax assessment adjustments, employee retirements, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit special education services, charter school enrollments, budget savings and adjustments made in view of the 5-year forecast the board has implemented of late to gain a deeper understanding of the trends in district expenses and revenues.

The next meeting of the operations committee will be held Feb. 3, via Zoom.