Skip To Main Content

2024-2025 Proposed Final Budget

The 2024-2025 Fox Chapel Area School District proposed final budget calls for total expenditures of $119,247,095 and total revenues of $119,047,281. The budget will be balanced via a tax increase and the utilization of available fund balance. The proposed final millage rate for 2024-2025 would be 21.5128 mills, which represents a 3.75% millage increase from 20.7352 mills for the 2023-2024 school year. The anticipated 3.75% millage increase falls below the 5.3% Act 1 index increase allowed by the state. Each mill generates approximately $3.7 million for the school district. Properties that have approved homestead/farmstead exemptions will see an increase below 3.75% relating to the increase in property tax relief funds from the state. 

The school board approved the 2024-2025 proposed final budget May 6, 2024. It will be available online, as per the state-required public review period, on the district’s website at www.fcasd.edu.

The board will discuss the final budget at its meetings June 3 and June 10. The board is expected to pass the final 2024-2025 budget at its June 10 meeting. The June 3 meeting will be held at Fox Chapel Area High School in the large group instruction room, and the June 10 meeting will be held in the O’Hara Elementary School auditorium. Both meetings begin at 7 p.m. The school board meetings are streamed on the district’s YouTube channel.

The 2024-2025 proposed final budget reflects the following:

  • Increased budgetary expenses relating to facility improvement/upgrades

    • Water/sewer line repairs

    • HVAC upgrades

    • Building safety upgrades

    • A funds transfer into the Capital Reserves Fund to be used toward the School Board’s Projects and Planning Committee’s Multiphase Capital Projects Plan
       

  • Insurance premium increases

    • 9% for medical coverage

    • 5% for dental coverage  

    • 3% for vision coverage
       

  • Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) employer contribution rate of 33.90% for 2024-2025

    • This accounts for 15% of the overall budget. The state reimburses the district 50% of the costs.
       

  • 3.75% recommended tax increase

    • Below the allowable Act 1 Index increase of 5.3%

    • Represents

      • Lost real estate revenues in relation to changes in assessment values

      • Adjustment for inflation

      • Funding of capital improvements
         

  • Final utilization of federal ESSER funds, required to be spent by September 30, 2024

Please note that this budget is subject to change between the proposed final budget and the approval of the final budget.

Future Challenges

  • Assessment value reductions from Allegheny County assessment appeals

    • 2023-2024 assessment value reductions resulting in a revenue loss of approximately $800,000 (equates to a 1.11% tax increase due to due to lost revenues)

    • 2023-2024 expenditures increased by more than $750,000 relating to prior year refunds paid as a result of the assessment value reductions
       

  • PSERS contributions continue to be a challenge for school districts in Pennsylvania

    • The employer contribution rate is set by PSERS trustees, not by the district

    • The district anticipates paying more than $47 million in PSERS contributions during the next five years
       

  • Projected Multi Year Capital Improvement Plan

    • Projects address repair, replacement, and upgrades of equipment and infrastructure of aging district facilities

      • The current phase includes updates to the Hartwood Elementary HVAC system and interior lighting
         

    • The current version of the plan includes an outstanding projected total cost of more than $32 million spread over eight years

      • The district plans to utilize available funds assigned for capital expenses in both the Fund 10 fund balance and external Capital Reserve Funds

      • The district is looking into additional alternative funding opportunities, including grants, as well as possibly increasing the district’s debt service profile

 Gaming Funds Distribution

On May 1, 2024, the Pennsylvania Department of Education provided the Fox Chapel Area School District with the amount of the district’s share of gaming funds available for distribution. The final budget will include a distribution of $2,270,532. The method of distributing these funds, as prescribed by Act 1, the Taxpayer Relief Act, will be via the implementation of the homestead exclusion. 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 $13,524.44 of its taxable value, excluded for the purpose of calculating current school district real estate taxes for the 2024 tax year. Based on the Proposed Final Budget, the owners of the 7,826 properties in the district that qualified for the homestead exclusion will receive the equivalent of a $290.95 reduction in their property taxes. This is an increase of $52.92 over the previous year’s reduction. Property owners who currently do not have an approved homestead exclusion will have the opportunity to apply again when the district sends out letters to those homeowners in December 2024.

Documents

More Information

Presentations on the 2023-2024 preliminary budget and budget process during meetings of the Fox Chapel Area Board of School Directors can be found below.