School Board approves preliminary budget and new senior citizen tax rebate program

The Colonial Board of School Directors approved a preliminary 2020-2021 budget and a senior citizen tax rebate program during its monthly business meeting on January 23.

The 2020-2021 Preliminary Budget totals $139,040,910 which is an increase of $5,981,325 or 4.5 percent over the 2019-2020 spending plan. The Preliminary Budget includes a real estate tax millage of 23.80, also an increase of 4.5 percent. The Preliminary Budget also reflects the use of $1.796 million in Fund Balance to balance the budgeted expenditures.

Business Administrator/Board Treasurer David Szablowski noted the preliminary budget needed to be approved 90 days prior to the primary election, which is moved up in a presidential election year.

Board Finance Committee Chair Adam Schupack stressed that the budget is very preliminary and the numbers will look different when a final budget is approved in June.

In other budget-related action, the Board voted to apply for exceptions to the Act I Index.

Tax/Rent Rebate Program graphicSenior Citizen Tax Rebate

The Board also approved a new senior citizen tax rebate program. The program will piggy-back on the current Pennsylvania Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. The new District program will provide a 30 percent match of the refund received under the state program for property taxes or rent paid in 2019. The rebate will be paid to qualifying participants after July 1, 2020. Click here for more information on the PA Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program.

To be eligible for the Colonial rebate, qualified applicants would need to provide the School District with a copy of their Pennsylvania PA-1000 tax form with all their income documentation as well as their proof of payment of property taxes or rent.  The participants would also provide proof that they received the Pennsylvania State Rebate by providing a copy of the check or proof of deposit in order to receive the 30 percent match.

Romano Property

After the Board approved the purchase of the Romano property last September, the District underwent a lengthy review and inspection of the property. At its January meeting, the Board authorized to the administration and District solicitor to finalize the sale. That is expected to happen in mid February.