The per capita taxes have been eliminated for the Hamburg Area School District for the 2020-2021 school year.

“Each year a resolution was passed to levy the per capita taxes for the next year, so there wasn’t a vote to eliminate. This year the resolution wasn’t presented and so there wasn’t a vote to approve the per capita taxes,” explained Michele L. Zimmerman, Business Manager, Hamburg Area School District.

Zimmerman explained the reason for the elimination of per capita taxes in Hamburg was to reduce the tax burden on district residents by easing the financial burden and pressure of having to remember to pay this one tax.

“Although the dollar amount was small, it was a burden for some taxpayers,” she said. “Also, because the dollar amount was small it was sometimes overlooked by taxpayers and was paid late, which resulted in a substantially larger tax bill because of late penalties.”

This change affects all Hamburg Area School District residents age 18 and older.

Zimmerman noted that three municipalities within the district will continue to levy per capita taxes. These municipalities are the Boroughs of Hamburg and Shoemakersville and the Upper Tulpehocken Township.

The 2020-21 Final General Fund budget was approved on June 22 with a vote of 8-0 with no tax increase. The millage rate remains at 26.96 mills for the third straight year.

The 2020-2021 budgeted expenditure amount is $45,312,671 and the budgeted revenue amount is $42,411,323, resulting in a budgeted deficit of $2,901,348. 

The school district plans to use money from its reserve fund to help make up the deficit.

“We do not expect to end the year with that large a deficit because we budget conservatively and we plan for items that may or may not occur, but we do expect we will end the year with a deficit,” said Zimmerman.

“In addition to the financial pressures placed on school districts in a ‘normal’ year, COVID-19 will make the next several years extremely difficult financially,” she said. “Due to the planning done by this and previous School Boards, the Hamburg Area School District will be able to withstand these financial difficulties while continuing to enhance the education of our learners.”

The April 27, May 11, May 18, June 1, and June 22 meetings were held via Zoom. The plan is to have the July 20 meeting in person, but that will depend on the phase the county is in at that time.

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