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Business Department News

The Perkiomen Valley School District Board of Directors approved an $112.6M spending plan on June 29 – a budget that balances the needs of students and taxpayers in the COVID-19 environment.

The budget includes a tax increase of 2.34 percent, which is below the 2.6 percent index that the Board had agreed not to exceed. Months of careful review and concern over the impact the pandemic may have on finances now and into the future led to the 2020-21 budget, which includes the following highlights:

· 10 percent reductions to building and department budgets
· Reduction of staff through attrition
· Use of $1.5M from the unassigned fund balance
· Use of $300,000 from COVID-19 reserve fund (created through operational savings due to the state-mandated shutdown of the district in March 2020)
· Use of $373,000 from the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System (PSERS) reserve fund
· Use of $225,445 from the debt service fund

Revenues are expected to decrease due to an economy affected by COVID-19. The following areas will be affected: earned income tax (down $1,662,500, 13.46% reduction), interest earnings (down $810,000, 90% reduction), real estate transfer taxes (down $475,000, 50% reduction), interim real estate taxes ( down$175,000, 50% reduction) and what the district receives from the state for transportation (down $223,530,12.55% reduction). These large decreases offset small gains in other revenue areas where normal growth would occur.

While revenues are decreasing, expenditures are increasing. State-mandated costs associated with PSERS (PA State Employee Retirement System) and special education continue to grow. Perkiomen Valley’s share for tuition to both the Northern Montgomery County Career Technical School and the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit increased as well. These increases were offset by reductions in personnel via attrition, medical insurance considerations, 10-percent building and department budget reductions, and additional School Board/administration strategy around the savings from a bond refunding.

The total use of available fund balance reserves used to balance the budget was $2,398,445, which equates to 2.13% of total expenditures as approved.

The tax increase was approved at .79 mills (2.34%) for a total real estate millage rate of 34.51 mills. For the average real estate property assessed at $180,000, this means a yearly increase of $142.30.

To provide some relief to taxpayers during this time, the School Board approved an extension of the tax payment discount period until 9/30, and the ability for taxpayers to pay up until Dec. 31 without a late penalty applied. In addition, the installment payment option was expanded to include four payments with due dates on 9/15, 10/15, 11/15 and 12/15. A property tax rebate program will be instituted for qualified taxpayers. The property tax rebate program could provide for up to 30% of the Pennsylvania Property Tax Rebate value for those in greatest need of financial help. See link at top of the page for more information.