Although the Exeter Township School Board of Directors approved a millage of 27.784, for a home approved by the Berks County Assessment office for tax reductions appraised at or under $100,000 won't see an increase.The approved budget means property owners will see a 1.959 mill increase over the previous budget.
According to earlier Berks-Mont reports, the increase will translate to approximately $195.90 a year extra for homeowners with properties assessed at $100,000.
However, qualifying homeowners, a total of 6,891 in all, will receive $195.80 back under the state's 1998 Homestead and Farmstead Exclusion Act and the 2006 Taxpayer Relief Act.
The legislation grants relief from real estate tax on homesteads and farmsteads excluding vacation homes or any dwellings other than primary residences.
For homeowners with assessed values of approximately $100,000 the tax relief would almost equal the increase approved by the school board, according to earlier Berks-Mont reports.
However, for homeowners whose properties are assessed below $100,000, about 43 percent of the 6,891 homeowners eligible for the relief, the return will be higher than the increase.
The district received $1,329,394 from the Pennsylvania Department of Education due to more than the $613 million generated by slot machines.
"I think it should be made clear that our budgeting and levying taxes is based totally upon the situation that we've been put in by state legislature," said school board member Robert Quinter. "If it were not for the state legislature's rules for the conduct of our business, we would not have had as large an increase (in budget) this year."
Quinter mentioned that state lawmakers were talking about cutting the education budget for next year and that school boards would have to submit their budgets within the next several weeks.
The Associated Press reported last week that state legislators were to debate a Senate Republican bill that would cut the $28.3 billion spending plan, resulting in a $120 million cut from Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed basic education subsidy that funds instruction and operations in public schools.
"I think the state is being totally irresponsible in finances and citizens should look into that," Quinter said.
The board approved a budget of $59,929,760.
According to earlier reports Business Manager Anne Guydish cited increasing fuel costs and replacing the high school's roof as reasons why the final budget changed from the preliminary final budget of $59,879,852 that was adopted at a May 13 meeting. o approved the 2008-2009 athletic fund final budget revenue $65,800, expenditures of $66,500 and ending fund balance of $14,149 o approved the final budget for the food service fund with revenue of $1,895,964, expenditures of $1871,192 and net income of $24,772 o approved athletic accident insurance with ACE America (America Insurance Company and American Management Advisor at a fee of $10,700. The agenda stated that the policy will cover all senior and junior high school sports including band, cheerleading and football.