WEEKLY REPORT #7
RTMSD Increases Property Taxes Despite Surpluses
In a nutshell:
Year after year, RTMSD increases School Property (a.k.a., Real Estate) Taxes after receiving millions more than it spent. School real estate taxes have increased about $20 million in 10 years - 31% !!
The surpluses often are MORE than the increase in planned Expenditures for the coming school year, but they increase the School Property Tax anyway.
RTMSD Property Taxes exceed a month's income for many
Unnecessary tax increases create an especially painful burden on fixed income residents. They have to decide where to find the large sum to pay the property tax, and then how to pay for food, transportation, utilities until the next month's money arrives.
RTMSD justifies raising property taxes annually with Pennsylvania Act 1 of 2006, the "Taxpayer Relief Act", which intended to give voters a greater say when a school needs to raise property taxes. It provides an annual inflationary index to cap the increases, if a surplus is small or none exists.
Our School Board always approves property tax increases up to or very near the inflationary index cap. We never get a referendum to vote to approve an increase in our taxes -- we do not get a greater say in our taxation.
And we have come to expect that RTMSD will take as much money as they easily can, whether or not it is needed for the coming school year.