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PROSPECT PARK— The Interboro School Board unanimously passed an approximately $70 million 2019-20 school year budget at its June 19 meeting.

The nine-member board approved the budget with a 2.9 percent tax increase that will bring in $1.2 million more in real estate taxes to serve the district of 3,400 students and more than 600 staff members. The new millage rate for the year will be set at 38.1767, positioning the district’s rate in the middle among the county's 14 other districts. For the average assessed district home of $88,000 the tax bill will increase $95.

Local tax resources account for 64 percent of revenue streams with the state accounting for 34 percent. That figure is contingent on what legislators ultimately approve for the state’s budget.

Salaries and benefits drive 78 percent of budget expenses at $55.6 million.

Included in the budget is one more autistic support teacher at the high school, a districtwide social worker and a supervisor of literacy. The latter two positions will be paid through federal funds.

Also included in the budget is a projected increase in the parking lot tax the district imposes on commercial airport parking lots in Tinicum from 11.25 percent to 11.76 percent. A number of this parking lot owners, managers and employees have been objecting to the increase as they see their own revenues hit by ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft.

District officials say the current tax rate on these lots has been set since 2001.

Before voting to advertise the parking lot tax resolution board member Jack Evans said the board had just voted to “drop the hammer” on taxpayers with higher taxes and to curtail the administration on their expenses.

“I really do believe we’re doing our level best to control costs to the community as well as still provide the quality education to our students and maintain the teachers and staff that we currently have,” he said.

The board last month voted to advertise the resolution at a rate of 11.96 percent, but they now authorized to re-advertise the rate at 11.76 percent. If approved, the district will start to collect this percentage on 33 percent of each parking lot’s income starting Aug. 1, 2019.

“By advertising this intent we’re still willing to talk and work thinks out with everybody that we can," added Evans.

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