CASD board approves 0% tax increase

The Chambersburg Area School District (CASD) board of directors approved a 0% tax increase for the 2021-2022 General Fund budget. They also set the homestead/farmstead tax exclusions at the June 8 school board Meeting.

The proposed $160 million budget was first presented at the May 4 board meeting by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dion Betts and the district’s administration. The final budget contains a property tax rate of 118.9296 mills, unchanged from last year.

READ: No new school taxes this year

According to district staff, a number of factors made the 0% tax increase possible, including:

  • A growing tax base in the Chambersburg area
  • Anticipated savings during the 2020-2021 school year
  • Substantial one-time assistance to school districts via the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund through the federal CARES Act

The CASD board also approved homestead/farmstead tax exclusions for 2021-2022. These exclusions provided tax reductions to 17,749 homesteads and 201 farmsteads in the Chambersburg area. The approved resolution provides a maximum tax relief value of $645.07 for 2021-2022 homestead/farmstead eligible properties. 634 properties will receive a 100% tax exclusion. Funds for the property tax relief include $1,347,455 from state gaming monies and over $10,000,000 from Earned Income Tax.

Using federal funds

The board meeting also included a presentation on plans for federally provided COVID19 relief.

In addition to the initial ESSER funds, CASD anticipates the receipt of over $11,000,000 in ESSERII funds. In which, $3 million is slated to offset existing planned expenditures. The remaining will be allocated for additional one-time projects during the 2021-2022 fiscal year. The projects include:

  • Air quality improvements
  • Antigen testing
  • Staffing for the CASD summer learning program
  • Technology/educational resources
  • Curriculum writing

ESSER funds during the 2022-2023 fiscal year will include:

  • District-wide technology upgrades
  • Ongoing educational enhanced resources
  • Multiple facility improvements at Scotland, Stevens, Falling Spring, Grandview, Lurgan, Guilford Hills, and Buchanan Elementary Schools

Under the ARP ESSER funds, the District will likely receive an additional $22,590,950 usable through September 30, 2024. Dr. Betts formed a “Future of Learning Group” to determine potential projects for the third round of COVID relief. The group contains a wide variety of stakeholders throughout the district who aim to align the funds with district goals while following specific ARP ESSER spending guidelines. For information or questions regarding the Future of Learning group, parents/guardians and community members can contact Dr. Betts at [email protected].

For more information on the 2021-2022 final budget and homestead/farmstead tax exclusions, visit the CASD Business website or watch/listen to the June 8th Regular Board Meeting on the CASD Youtube channel.

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