Why are taxpayers being charged for money left unspent? This question is posed by NBC 10 reporter Mitch Blacher to public school administrators in southeastern Pennsylvania districts. An NBC investigation found eleven of twelve districts overestimated—for multiple years—how much they would need to raise in new taxes.
NBC spoke with a former school member who blew the whistle on consistent over-budgeting in Unionville-Chadds Ford.
Oddly, a Downingtown Area Superintendent defended the practice by arguing, “There’s a history to this. This is 20 years of us doing this.”
Indeed, there is a history of Pennsylvania school districts requesting higher taxes while holding large sums of money in reserve funds. See CF’s recent analysis of all 500 districts comparing fund balance information with requests to raise taxes above the state-mandated cap on property tax increases.