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Proposed Preliminary 2020-2021 Budget Presented

The preparation of the 2020-2021 school district budget is underway, and Director of Business Brian Loftus presented the proposed preliminary budget to the board, the first presentation of the budget season. The proposed preliminary budget includes no tax increase, and the administration has no plans to seek exceptions to the Act 1 index limitations, maintaining the current millage rate of 124.1 mills.

While very early in the budgeting process, the district's financial outlook, based on a number of revenue assumptions, is positive. Local tax revenues, including real estate taxes, earned income taxes, interim taxes, and transfer taxes, are all expected to be up between one and two percent. Local revenue accounts for 79% of the district's operating revenue. State and federal subsidies are also expected to increase by about the same margin. Overall, revenue is expected to increase by about 1%.

On the expenditure side, the administration is anticipating a 1.8% increase, based primarily on contractual salary increases, increases in healthcare and prescription drug costs, mandated contributions to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS), fulfillment of the district's one to one laptop initiative, and rising special education costs. A 36% decrease in the district's debt service costs, resulting from the debt defeasance approved by the board in 2018-2019, is partially offsetting expenditure cost increases.

The proposed preliminary budget for 2020-2021 currently stands at $348,581,281, an increase of 1.85% over 2019-2020. Between now and the approval of the final budget in June, the administration and school board will work together to close a $2,845,017 gap between expenditures and anticipated revenues. The Central Bucks School Board has not increased real estate taxes in six of the past seven years.

The proposed preliminary budget for the general fund of Central Bucks School District for the 2020-2021 fiscal year may be downloaded and inspected here, and is also available for public inspection at the school district administrative offices, located at 20 Welden Drive in Doylestown. It will be presented for adoption as a Preliminary Budget Proposal at a school board meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m. on January 14. The preliminary budget proposal may be amended before adoption.