The Pottsgrove School District will have to pay out more than $200,000 in refunds for three year’s worth of taxes on three properties as the result of settlements approved by the school board Tuesday night.
As a result of the settlements, which end property assessment challenges undertaken three years ago, the district will also lose $70,470 a year in future revenues going forward.
The settlements on all three properties were approved as part of one motion after questions by Board Vice President Al Leach resulted in an impromptu closed-door executive session to discuss the legal settlement in private.
The properties, in order of assessed value, are:
• 2190 E. High St. in Sanatoga, now occupied by the Landis Supermarket, that saw a 50 percent reduction in its assessment down to $1.2 million.
At $45,5000 a year, the three-year refund on that reduced assessment comes to $136,500.
• 2162 E. High St. in Sanatoga, a strip shopping center with several vacant stores that currently houses a nail salon, hair dresser and Paradise Donuts , also saw a 50 percent reduction in its assessment, down to $561,700.
At $21,200 a year, the three-year refund on that reduced assessment comes to $63,600.
School Board member Bill Parker is the proprietor of Paradise Donuts and abstained from the vote.
• 1441 Laura Lane in Upper Pottsgrove, now home to the Southeastern Conference of the United Church of Christ, saw a $100,000 reduction in its assessment down to $318,500.
At $3,770 a year, the three-year refund on that reduced assessment comes out to $11,310.
Business Manager David Nester said the challenges were first filed three fiscal years ago, which is why the refund is so large.
Tax revenue losses, albeit smaller, will also be experienced by Montgomery County and Lower Pottsgrove Township, in the case of the first two properties, and Upper Pottsgrove Township in the case of the third property, given that all levy real estate property taxes which use the same assessment to determine their respective tax bills.
However, the school district is by far the largest tax bill of the three and so, as a result, must shoulder the largest loss of revenue.
The $70,470 in tax revenue losses going forward will have to be made up from other sources, and other taxpayers.