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Council Rock Pledges to Keep Budget Within Act 1 Index

The Council Rock School Board on Thursday voted to keep taxes for the 2013-2014 school budget within 1.7 percent of last year.

The Council Rock School Board voted Thursday to keep school taxes for the 2013-2014 district budget within the state mandated Act 1 Index.

The Act 1 index is the limit a school district is permitted by state law to raise taxes. The index is 1.7 percent, as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Districts are permitted to seek exceptions to exceed the 1.7 percent cap, however Council Rock declined to go that route.

Council Rock's budget in 2012-2013 was $201.8 million. 

Robert Reinhart, Council Rock's director of business administration, said he is confident the district will be able to craft a 2013-2014 budget within the Act 1 Index. But he noted there is a continuing issue with providing for the retirement fund. 

Reinhart said during this budget year, the district is paying about 12 percent of wages towards Pennsylvania's Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS). In 2013-2014, the PSERS contribution will increase to nearly 17 percent of wages – or $4.8 million.

While the state contributes half of that, Council Rock will still need to generate another $2.4 million in local resources to meet its obligation, according to Reinhart. 

Based upon the assessed values from last year, an increase of 1.7 percent would generate approximately $2.3 million more in local taxes, Reinhart estimated

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