The Fox Chapel Area School Board adopted the 2022-2023 final budget at its regular business meeting on June 13, 2022.
Total Revenues $109,301,495
Total Expenditures $111,031,866
Total Net Change $ -1,730,371*
*In addition to a tax increase, the budget will be balanced via a fund balance drawdown.
The 2022-2023 final budget reflects an increase of 1.5% to the millage rate, which will go from 20.1269 to 20.4288. The increase in millage is expected to add more than $1 million in revenue each year.
The budget includes annual increases in tuition outplacement costs (8%) and rising medical (8%), dental (3%), and vision (3%) insurance premiums for staff.
It also includes approximately $1 million in planned ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund) federal allocations. Plans for these funds include capital expenditures, summer learning initiatives, after-school programs, reading and math intervention programs, and student and staff support services. Among the capital expenditures planned is a window project at Dorseyville Middle School that is expected to cost approximately $800,000.
The 2022-2023 budget also includes a transfer of $2 million into a capital reserve fund to be put toward other larger-scale capital improvement projects, which include heating, ventilating, and air conditioning upgrades at Hartwood Elementary School; an internal lighting project at Hartwood; and turf replacement at the high school for the baseball, softball, and multipurpose fields.
The 2022-2023 budget reflects costs of more than $17 million for the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) employer contribution, an increase of 6% over the current year. The 2022-2023 PSERS employer contribution rate is set at 35.26%. The state reimburses the school district 50% of those costs, and that is reflected in the revenues section of the final budget.
Gaming Funds Distribution
On May 2, 2022, the Pennsylvania Department of Education notified the Fox Chapel Area School District that the district’s share of gaming funds will total $1,847,213.20. The method of distributing these funds, as prescribed by Act 1, the Taxpayer Relief Act, will be via the implementation of the homestead exemption. Under this provision, any property in the school district that was approved by Allegheny County as a homestead will have the lesser of its taxable value, or an estimated $11,703.33 of its taxable value, excluded for the purpose of calculating school district real estate taxes for the 2022 tax year. The owners of the 7,771* properties in the district that qualified for the homestead exemption will receive the equivalent of a $239.08 reduction in their property taxes. Property owners who currently do not have an approved homestead exemption will have the opportunity to apply again when the district sends out letters to those homeowners in December 2022.
*Allegheny County has certified that there are 7,771 properties in the Fox Chapel Area School District that qualify for the homestead exemption. If that number is adjusted by the county to include fewer or more properties, it could affect the amount of the final reduction.
Federal Stimulus Funds
Information regarding federal COVID-related stimulus funds is available at www.fcasd.edu/budget.
COVID-19 and its economic impact for the current and future budget years continue to be an uncertainty.
The contribution to PSERS remains a challenge for all school districts in Pennsylvania.
The employer contribution rate is set by PSERS trustees, not by the district.
The district anticipates paying more than $45 million in PSERS contributions during the next five years.
Projected multiyear capital improvement plan costs are not finalized.
•These amounts can be reduced by 2% if paid in full during the discount period.
•Senior citizens may qualify for a property tax rebate program available through the state.
*More information about the homestead tax exemption can be found at https://dced.pa.gov/local-government/property-tax-relief-homestead-exclusion/.