Budget looking brighter, but tax increase still likely

By on June 8, 2016

Warwick ScIt’s coming down to the wire for the 2016-17 Warwick School District budget.

Final adoption is set for the Warwick School Board meeting on June 21.

And things are looking up, reported school district business manager Nathan Wertsch at the last review before the budget vote in two weeks.

“Favorability outweighs exposure in several areas,” said Wertsch, noting that some of those factors include an increase in tax income from new properties in the school district, as well as tax transfers and fund transfers for the Bonfield roof project.

New developments like Traditions of America and Lititz Reserve are the main reasons that Warwick will be getting a tax boost from new residents. Even state funding is looking favorable.

The result is that an increase in revenue and a decrease in expenditures since May are expected to reduce the amount of funds that will be needed from the school district’s reserves.

As the budget nears adoption, expenses for the 2016-17 budget are projected at $69,908,113, while revenue is estimated at $68,249,244. That leaves a deficit of $1,658,869.

Just a month ago, the figures were projected at $71,253,678 in expenses, with revenue at $67,755,851. The budget deficit looked like it might be $3,497,827.

The school district has a fund balance of $10,846,994, which is expected to be used to cover the deficit. A month ago, it appeared that the fund balance would be reduced to $7,349,167. Now, that number looks better, leaving the fund balance at $9,881,125.

A few factors that offer the more favorable budget outlook include the increased real tax revenue from new properties, bond refinancing, not refilling three positions of retiring teachers, and Warwick Ware software.

Tax millage for the Warwick School District is 20.1627, which is 3 percent higher than the average in Lancaster County, at 19.57, said Wertsch.

Taxpayers won’t be paying less taxes despite the brighter outlook. For the 2016-17 school year, Warwick’s adjusted index is 2.9 percent. A property with a median assessed value of $146,700 would have a tax increase of $85.72.

Laura Knowles is a freelance reporter who covers the Warwick School Board beat for the Record Express. She welcomes reader feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com.

One Comment

  1. Charles Hample

    June 10, 2016 at 10:10 am

    And yet another year where taxes go up , Mmmm hate to say I told you so but I did , I lost the election to be on the school board and I promised to vote no on raising taxes, let’s see how many board members vote yes, I predict every single one will , then they will blame it on the state, pensions and teacher salaries, the buck stops with them, they have a choice

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