NASD Executives Suggest Do Not Raise Taxes – Times News Online

The New Years resolution for the Northampton area school district is not new taxes.

To support this goal, the NASD board voted 8-0, with one board member absent, on December 20 to approve a resolution, as recommended by the administration, “stating that the board did not will not increase the tax rate for fiscal year 2022-2023 by more than its index.

The Act 1 index mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for the NASD is 4.2%, which would be the highest percentage that the district could raise taxes for the 2022-2023 fiscal year without benefiting from ‘exceptions for certain budgetary areas. The NASD approached DEP and received exceptions in previous years but did not use them.

“This is the first time that we have said that we are not going above the Act 1 index,” said NASD Superintendent of Schools, Joseph S. Kovalchik. “You no longer need to approve a preliminary budget in January. “

“Our recommendation is that there would be no tax increase for next year,” said Matthew Sawarynski, NASD administrator.

The NASD mileage rate is 55.7. The average assessment in the district is $ 58,000, which represents 60 percent of residences.

The first look at the 2022-2023 budget does not include a tax increase, with expenses of $ 120,198,795 with an identical amount in income, which includes $ 650,000 of the district fund balance. The 2022-2023 budget is an increase of $ 3,805,075, or 3.27%, over the 2021-2022 budget of $ 116,393,720.

The estimated unallocated ending fund balance would be $ 8 million, or 6.7 percent, which is higher than the school board’s 5 percent target fund balance.

“The policy in the district is that we will maintain a 5% unallocated fund balance,” Sawarynski said.

Kovalchik said the administration will provide budget updates at upcoming school board meetings. The proposed budget must be approved by May 9, 2022 or before, and the final budget must be approved by June 13, 2022 or before.

A copy of the preliminary budget for the NASD General Fund 2022-23 was posted on December 21 on the district’s website.

The budget so far includes local revenues of $ 79,844,764, which represents an increase of $ 3,360,900, or 4.39%; state revenue of $ 34,507,430, an increase of $ 1,253,571, or 3.77%; federal income of $ 5,196,601, an increase of $ 702,498, or 15.63%; and other income of $ 650,000, a decrease of $ 1,511,894, or 69.93 percent.

The Summary of Planned Spending includes instructions to $ 71,967,972, which represents an increase of $ 1,297,132 or 1.84%; support services to $ 35,528,277, an increase of $ 2,312,086 or 6.96 percent; non-educational services at $ 1,672,422, an increase of $ 41,492 or 2.54 percent; and a debt service transfer to $ 11,030,124, an increase of $ 154,365, or 3.27%.

NASD administration includes $ 500,000 revenue increase in the 2022-2023 preliminary budget based on new housing projects in the district, including Toll Bros., East Allen Township, 40 residences, with 191 planned ; Ryan Homes Estates in Willowbrook, Allen Township, 11 residences; Kay Homes Fields in Willowbrook, Northampton Borough, 0 homes built, 52 approved; Towpath Estate, Allen Township, 40 residences, 93 of which are planned; Sunny Slope Crossings, East Allen Township, 0 residences built, 81 planned (permits pending); and Townhouses, CVS surroundings, Northampton, 0 residences built, 40 approved.

The former Lehigh Township Seminary Jaindl project, with 475 to 500 units planned (possibly 55 and over), is not included in the revenue increase for the preliminary budget 2022-2023.

The NASD administration includes a revenue increase of $ 700,000 in the preliminary budget 2022-2023 based on new warehouse projects in the district, including three warehouses under negotiation, including 250 Radar Drive, Frank’s Corner and Century Commerce. Negotiations are based on settlement with Geodis, 951 Willowbrook Road.

No income is budgeted for JW Development Warehouses or a warehouse across from Barn House in the 2022-2023 budget.

“With all of these warehouses, we’re going to earn millions and millions of dollars in revenue,” Kovalchik said.

The NASD administration includes $ 1,025,000 in increased revenue in reverse appeal settlements in the 2022-2023 preliminary budget, whereby the district appealed ratings and higher ratings were determined.

Going forward, according to the December 20 submission, the NASD administration predicts that the reverse appeal settlements will add $ 1,075,000 in revenue for the 2023-24 fiscal year budget and $ 2,600,000 in revenue for the fiscal year 2023-24. fiscal year 2024-25.

Other 2022-2023 revenue updates include an earned income tax increase of $ 290,000 and an increase in federal funding of $ 700,000 in emergency relief for elementary and secondary schools, the American Rescue Plan Act and title funds.

Funding for basic education and grants for special education have not increased. The increase in state funding for Social Security and the Pennsylvania School Employee Retirement System will be $ 500,000.

The expenditure assumptions in the preliminary budget 2022-2023 include a 7.5% increase in the Bethlehem Area Technical and Vocational School and a 3.5% increase in the Lehigh Career and Technical Institute for a total increase of $ 2.6 million; Northampton Community College 3.5 percent increase, or $ 900,000; PSERS and social security increase of $ 775,000; $ 5 million charter cyber schools, with no state subsidy, for an increase of $ 300,000; special education costs of $ 21.6 million, with a state grant of $ 3.3 million; and transportation costs of $ 6.7 million, including non-public schools, of $ 1.9 million, with a state grant of $ 2.9 million, based on an increase 2.75 percent contract, for an increase of $ 200,000.

Staff additions including Northampton Area High School and Northampton Area Middle School math teachers, Lehigh Primary School 1st grade, Spanish, reading, special education, special education NAMS, speech and language will be included in the budget.

Looking ahead, NASD has a remaining borrowing capacity of $ 96.5 million as of June 30.

The $ 75 million Seemsville Track Project would add $ 2.6 million to debt service each year. The mileage impact would be 0.44 mil per year for five years.

For the 2022-2023 budget, $ 1 million could be allocated from the fund balance. The money would not need to be borrowed until 2023-24.

The need to borrow money may be less, depending on the additional income from new warehouses and new housing. The impact on taxpayers, on average, would be $ 120 over five years or $ 24 per year.

The seven-day totals of the COVID-19 dashboard, from December 17 to 17. 23, December 23, are: NAHS, 37; NAMS, 14; Elementary schools in the district, 5; Moore Elementary School, 2; Lehigh Elementary School, 10; George Wolf Elementary School, 5; district administrative building, 0.

The NASD positive cases since the start of the year are 583.

The school board does not start its monthly meetings until January.

The Education Council is scheduled to meet on January 10, 2022 at 7 p.m. in the NAHS Auditorium, 1619 Laubach Ave., Northampton.

On December 20, NASD Superintendent of Schools, Joseph S. Kovalchik, presented the preliminary general fund budget 2022-2023.

PRESS PHOTOS BY PAUL WILLISTEIN Northampton area school district administrator Matthew Sawarynski discusses the preliminary general fund budget at the school board meeting on December 20.

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