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Hampton approves Act 1 resolution

| Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, 11:03 a.m.

The Hampton Township School Board approved several actions at its Jan. 15 meeting including the Act 1 “Not to Exceed” Resolution for 2018-19 school year, a first step in the budgeting process.

The resolution states that “it will not raise any rate of taxes in excess of the Act 1 Index of 2.4 percent,” according to the board agenda.

Passing the resolution must be decided upon by Jan. 25 and the district has voted to adopt the not to exceed resolution in the 11 of the 12 years it has been applicable, according to Jeff Kline, director of administration for the district.

Basically, it means the district is committed to not raising taxes over a certain rate. The Hampton “Not to Exceed' resolution does not mean that taxes will not increase. It means that taxes will not increase by more than the Act 1 Index.

Being a preliminary proposed document, it is in the very advent stages of the budgeting process. The district administration and school board will continue to work on the document in the coming months, which will include discussions at board and public meetings.

Still unknown are needs for staffing, or building and construction for next school year. Also, the state has not presented its preliminary education budget, according to the document.

Kline projects salaries based on current staffing will increase, along with health care premiums. And the Pennsylvania State Employees' Retirement System contribution costs continue to climb for the district. But he does expect real estate revenue to increase as new development, such as the new UPMC building on Route 8, will contribute to next budget year's tax collection.

Kline also offered an overview of the local tax revenue update as of Dec. 31 and that real estate tax, real estate transfer tax and earned income taxes are “on track or ahead” of what was collected compared to last year at this time. However, delinquent real estate collections are lagging more than he hoped.

As of Dec. 31, the district collected more than $175,000 in delinquent real estate taxes. In 2016, the district had more than $516,000.

But Kline said he's not yet too worried as the collections in that area exceeded the budget by more than 40 percent by the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year, as residents may pay later.

“We're at the mercy of when people decide to pay,” said Kline.

The board also approved professional development for principals, assistant principals and other teacher leaders through the Danielson Group Professional Development Services, using $9,000 in funds from the Ready to Learn Grant, said Loughead.

The group will provide two levels of training for that staff in January and March, he said. Then those principals and staff can later use their expertise to train others in the future, he said.

“They'll work with us and provide ongoing support,” said Loughead.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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