OASD close to finalizing budget with no tax increase
● By Steven Hoffman
The Oxford Area School District will be finalizing its budget for the 2018-2019 school year next month, and it appears as if there won’t be a tax increase to balance the spending plan.
The Oxford School Board's April 10 agenda was topped by a review of the proposed budget for the 2018-2019 school year, as Brian Cooney, Oxford's business administrator, offered a presentation about the proposed final budget for 2018-2019.
Cooney said that projected expenditures for 2018-2019 will be $69,268,862, up about $727,227, or 1.06 percent, over the current year.
While some line items, such as the state-mandated PSERS costs, are increasing from one year to the next, other expenditures are decreasing. For example, Oxford is seeing a decline in the amount of services purchased from the Chester County Intermediate Unit. Cooney explained that the district has been able to keep more students with special needs in its schools rather than having them go to the Chester County Intermediate Unit for services.
Cooney went on to explain that the district has seen local revenues climb year-over-year based on increases in the assessed values of properties in the district—Oxford saw an increase of $103,000 in revenues year-to-year without having to raise taxes. Cooney said that the district is also hopeful that the state budget, when it is finalized, will include education funding at the proposed levels, which includes some small increases for public schools like Oxford.
In order to balance the budget without a tax increase, Oxford will likely dip into its fund balance. The administration is also recommending that the school board approve a transfer of $2 million in unassigned fund balance to the capital reserve fund, and to assign an additional $250,000 to both capital projects and healthcare costs.
If the school board adopts a final budget with no tax increase, the millage rate would remain at 31.1484 mills for a second year in a row.
The proposed final budget will be open for review by the public until May, when the school board will vote on the final budget.
The Oxford School Board will meet again on Tuesday, May 8 and Tuesday, May 15, the former being a work session and the latter being a regular meeting. Both meetings take place at 7 p.m. At the Administration Building.