The proposed preliminary budget for the 2011-2012 school year in Spring-Ford presented a variety of problems, the most significant being a $10.4 million deficit. School administrators are hesitant to discuss a tax increase since the budget is still in the planning stages. Expenses are increasing as revenues continue to fall. The district will face even more lost revenue if the 30 companies who have applied to Montgomery County for property reassessment are successful. The appeals by such companies as GlaxoSmithKline, Quest Diagnostics and the Spring-Ford Country Club could cost the school district close to $4 million. The school board will vote on a proposed preliminary budget at the Feb. 14 meeting, with final budget adoption required by the end of June.
Upper Dublin administrators presented the school board with a proposed preliminary budget for the 2011-2012 school year. The preliminary plan includes a proposed tax hike of 5.85 percent [Read more...]
Radnor Township School District must face “brutal facts,” including what some officials say is a “structural problem” with how the district is funded and how it spends money according to Superintendent of Schools Linda Grobman. For example, by the year 2015-16 the school district could spend almost the same amount on benefits as it will on salaries, according to a five-year budget outlook. Despite “significant” staff and teacher layoffs and furloughs [Read more...]
Recently the New York Times printed an interesting article on the concept of “recasting” as a means of lowering mortgage payments. From the article:
“A little-known strategy, called “recasting,” or “re-amortization,” is available through some mortgage lenders and servicers. It involves paying off a lump sum of the principal amount and asking to have the monthly payments reset according to the original interest rate and loan terms. The lump sum reduces the principal, so your new monthly payments decrease slightly and you save on interest paid over the life of the loan.”
One of the primary appeals of recasting is that it typically involves no (or a small) fee and doesn’t require the credit requirements of refinancing.
To learn about recasting (and perhaps help some of your clients who may be looking for ways to lower payments) check out the full article here.
(If the link is not working, cut and paste the following in your browser: http://nyti.ms/fdHPlN)
Based upon recently released census figures, Pennsylvania will lose one congressional seat in the next two years. Although the state population increased, [Read more...]
The Lower Merion Township board of commissioners adopted a 2011 budget that includes a 10.8 percent increase in the township real estate tax. This translates to a real estate tax increase of $116 for the median home in the township with a property assessment of $283,000, for a total township real estate tax bill of $1,186. In order to reduce the projected real estate tax increase, commissioners agreed to draw down the general fund balance from 17 percent to 16 percent. The budget is available to view at www.lowermerion.org.
Lower Merion became the 18th Pennsylvania municipality to ban discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or expression with the unanimous adoption of an anti-discrimination ordinance. The ordinance also creates a Human Relations Commission to handle and investigate complaints. The ordinance provides new protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens in the areas of employment, public accommodation and housing. The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act protects individuals from discrimination based upon race, religion, sex, age and disability, but does not include sexual orientation or gender identity. Adoption of local anti-discrimination ordinances is not precluded by state law.
Edgmont Supervisors approved the 2011 budget, which calls for a tax increase equating to about $15 annually for the average assessment. The total tax rate is .7202 mills, or approximately $212 for a home assessed at $295,000. Township Manager Samantha Reiner said the need for a modest tax increase resulted, for the most part, from loss of revenue due to lack of housing starts, reduction of transfer taxes and the number of successful tax appeals lowering the overall assessment valuation for the township.
Aston Commissioners adopted a 2011 millage rate of 4.00 mills, reflecting an increase of .35 mills more than the 2010 budget. A homeowner with a residence assessed at $200,000 will pay $800 in real-estate taxes in 2011; an increase of $70 over last year. The service fee will remain the same at $220 per single-family unit, which represents the fee paid for weekly trash removal, as well as the dumping fee assessed by the Delaware County Solid Waste Authority.
The Nether Providence Board voted in favor of a fiscal plan that will boost taxes by 4.97 percent, to 4.09 mills. Commissioner Michael Dougherty, who chairs the Finance and Administration Committee, said the change will translate into a $44 township tax increase for a property assessed at $200,000. The township’s annual sewer rate for 2011 will remain unchanged, at $289 per household. Township Manager Gary Cummings said the generally healthy state of Nether Providence’s sewer accounts made it possible to avoid a rate increase. That includes a sewer reserve fund made more robust by the one-time payment of $206,000 from Upper Providence, Edgmont and Newtown for the right to join the Delaware County Authority.