Lancaster County’s Tax Cut, Chester County is Zero

Yesterday, there was the Finance Committee, Policy Committee, and School Board Work Session Meetings.

The Budget

We are in the second month of the 2014-15 Budget process, and the current Draft Budget is approximately $48.3 Million, an increase above the current year’s budget of just over $865,000 or 1.82%.

As of this moment, Lancaster County’s property tax rate will lower from 27.71 to 26.43 Mills, a reduction of 4.619%. Chester County’s Property tax rate will remain flat at 36.66 Mills.

Budget vs Actual

Here is how things look at the moment:

  • The last three years were, on average, over-budgeted by $1.8 Million, underfunded by just over $928,000, and ended with average surpluses of over $1 Million.
  • Costs over the last 3 years have remained flat at around $44.3 Million.
  • Last year’s budget (2012-13) was over-budgeted by $2.3 Million, underfunded by $1 Million, and had a surplus of $1.8 Million.
  • The current projection for the 2013-14 year (according to a report provided in the Finance Committee Meeting) estimates actual costs of $46.9 Million, coming in under budget by around $506,000. This number will continue to be adjusted the closer we get to the end of the fiscal year.


At next week’s Regular Session Meeting, the Board is scheduled to vote on the newly revised Policy 806: Child/Student Abuse. The Policy Committee will be taking a look at thirteen other policies referenced by 806 to insure no conflicts. However, this will not delay the vote.

The Committee took a first look at Policies 602: Budget Planning & 603: Budget Presentation. These policies will be updated to provide more complete and updated language, and remove unnecessary verbiage.

Also, the Committee is exploring the possibility of adding a Drug Screening Policy, a policy that exists in only 3 districts across the two counties. The potential policy could affect students participating in extracurricular activities (including but not limited to sports) and those who drive to school.

Administrative Announcements

Dr Rourer informed the Board there will be a Kasie’s Cause event on January 21st, 7-9pm.

Dr Newcome stated that the Safety Task Force is in the process of creating a survey to get community feedback. They will be presenting it to the Board.

Governor Corbette is expected to announce which schools will be awarded School Safety Grants. If Octorara is a recipient, Dr Newcome will provide a list of options on how to use the money in February.

Band Fest scheduled for this Friday, January 17th, at Octorara High School, starting at 6pm.

The Octorara AG Expo is scheduled for Saturday, May 31st.


2 thoughts on “Lancaster County’s Tax Cut, Chester County is Zero

    • Thanks for the question. The reduction of taxes for Lancaster County was a result of rebalancing, which is calculated by the state. It was not a result of the Board choosing. Rebalancing has to do, in part, with the student population in Chester vs Lancaster County.

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