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Hampton SD shares Comprehensive Annual Financial Report

| Sunday, Jan. 14, 2018, 11:00 p.m.

The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report was presented at the Hampton Township School Board meeting Jan. 8 for the 2016-17 fiscal year.

The district is just one of 12 in the state that selects to undergo a CAFR process, according to Peter J. Vancheri, CPA and managing partner of certified public accounting firm Hosack, Specht, Muetzel & Wood in Pittsburgh, which provided the report.

“This is really a transparent window to everything that is going on with the district,” said Bryant Wesley, who serves as president of the school board.

Back in June 2016, the budget was approved for $48,216,301 and expenditures at $48,963,301. The deficit was balanced by a 0.27 mill, or 1.49-percent tax increase from the 18.12 mills of 2015-16 and by utilizing $747,000 from its Public School Employees' Retirement System Rate Stabilization Fund.

At the end of the school fiscal year, Vancheri showed that final actual results for 2016-17 general fund revenues were $48,988,029 and actual expenditures were $49,735,542, resulting in a deficit of $747,513.

District revenues resulted in exceeding the budget, thanks to higher than expected amounts for delinquent tax collections, current real estate tax collections and interim real estate tax collections.

School district expenditures also exceeded the expected amount, due to capital projects fund transfers exceeding the budget by $800,000. The initial capital projects funded by this transfer included the Wyland Elementary Roofing Project and High School Captured Vestibule Project, per the report.

Other items that accounted for higher than projected budget expenditures included special education and other expenses.

The PSERS was an increase in costs for the district, along with an increase of subsidy from the state. The district's mandatory employer contribution rate has steadily increased year-by-year and will continue to do so.

It went from 30.03 percent in 2016-17 to 32.57 in 2017-18. Hampton's contribution rate will climb to 33.43 percent for the next fiscal year, according to the report.

Vancheri's report notes that “although half of the school district's contributions are reimbursed by the state, the PSERS rate increases have a tremendous financial impact on the school district.”

The district established a PSERS Rate Stabilization Fund during the 2009-10 fiscal year. As of June 30, 2017, the fund has $3.721 million to allocate to future PSERS costs. The current plan will continue to allocate funds through the 2025-26 fiscal year.

The food service, which acts as a business for the district, also had a decrease in revenue.

Specifically, there's been a decrease in participation from 80 percent in 2012-13 to 63 percent in 2016-17.

Overall, Jeff Kline, director of administrative services and transportation, said the report showed that the financial results for last fiscal year were close to what was planned.

“The district's goal is to provide a high-quality education while carefully considering the burden on local taxpayers. Therefore, the annual operating results shouldn't be evaluated as above or below average, but whether they were on target, which they certainly were,” he said.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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