Radnor High School

Radnor High School.

School districts will be allowed to raise real estate taxes at a higher rate for the 2020-21 school year.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education Monday released the Act 1 indices for approximately 500 districts to tell them how high they may raise real estate taxes in the next school year.

The Act 1 index is used to determine the maximum tax increase percentage a district can levy before going to a ballot referendum or filing a referendum exception with PDE.

Seven districts in the county will be held at the Act 1 base level of 2.6 percent, which increases .3 percentage points from the current school year rate: Garnet Valley; Haverford; Marple Newtown; Radnor; Rose Tree Media; Springfield; and Wallingford-Swarthmore.

The eight other districts saw their respective indices increase at least .4 points which is more than the year-to-year increase for the base index: Chester Upland, 3.7 to 4.1; Chichester, 3.1 to 3.5; Interboro, 3.1 to 3.5; Penn-Delco, 2.8 to 3.2; Ridley, 3 to 3.4; Southeast Delco, 3.4 to 3.9; Upper Darby, 3.3 to 3.8; and William Penn, 3.4 to 3.8.

Districts have free reign to raise taxes any amount up to their index. If a school board wants to raise taxes about their index it must go to a referendum on the May election primary ballots. Expenditures that are exceptions to a referendum include covering pension costs, special education costs or school construction debt.

Filing for a referendum exception with the PDE does not automatically mean a district will raise taxes over their index.

Created in 2006, the Act 1 index was signed into law to “ease the financial burden of home ownership by providing school districts the means to lower property taxes to homeowners” by way of gaming revenues. The base index level of 2.6 percent is the highest its been since 2.5 percent for 2017-18 and 2.9 percent in 2010-11.

The base index is calculated by averaging the percent increases in the Pennsylvania statewide average weekly wage and the Federal employment cost index for elementary/secondary schools.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus