Caution-DASD School Board Plans to Raise Your Taxes – A Lot!
DASD School Board Directors raised your property taxes by 2% during the lockdown and planned to vote on additional tax increases up to 17% - A total of roughly 20% in 2022. DASD, School Board candidates Margie Miller, Region 4 and Greg Simotas, Region 6 are committed to fighting unnecessary tax increases and returning resources to the classroom! While DASD families struggled during the Pandemic, DASD increased its spending by 6% ($14M). At the same time, Pennsylvania Incomes fell by 2.8% (Bureau of Labor Statistics), and inflation rates rising to roughly 5.4% falling heaviest on those who can least afford it. In a Special August 2021 meeting the current DASD Directors Britton and Wisdom voted for and passed a 2% increase on local property taxes the start of incremental increases to come. Unfortunately, property taxes fall hardest onto low-income families and fixed-income seniors. Renters also pay the price as landlords and apartment owners increase rents rather than absorb the costs.
What did this tax increase fund? It went entirely 100% towards new administrators and out-of-classroom resources.
- NO additional in-class aids. - NO improvement in student-teacher ratios. - NO additional funding for full-day Kindergarten. - NO additional supports for children with dyslexia Where did it go? 2X Administrators with total pay packages (pay and benefits) around 200k per year 1X significant pay increase for a DASD administrator to 130k salary per year (not including benefits) ~6X new technology staff 21X new counselors Beyond that, the DASD administration has grown by 17% over the last four years, while teachers have only increased by 4%. These are the wrong priorities!
DASD Administration asked the School Board to support a 17% tax increase, noted in the image below (special session in August). No business case was presented to justify a tax increase; Director Britton, however, pushed for the increase for three consecutive years; she gained enough votes on the Board to move ahead and vote on the finalization in 2022. Her reason involves that we have not had an increase in a while - No details. Additionally, DASD has a budget surplus of $95M in taxpayer dollars. Finally, the DASD Administration wants a new 5th and 6th-grade center.
If a new center comes to bear, there are many other means of funding it. There are options other than raising taxes, including low-rate bonds and outcomes of property reassessments, which will take place next year, including all of the new construction in the district and the property owned by DASD that that is being considered to be put up for sale. The Board has approved a lawyer to start considering the sale of segments of DASD's properties. There are situations where it is appropriate to implement a tax increase, albeit as minimal as possible - never a penny more. However, a tax increase is NOT currently warranted in DASD at this time — Your vote on Nov. 2nd will determine the outcome. As many DASD residents suffered the loss of income during the pandemic, Britton and Wisdom voted in favor of this tax increase and many other expenditures. However, as their expenditures remain planned, many residents continue to catch up on bills and rebuild their incomes and livelihoods with little to no discretionary income.
Have Britton and Wisdom thought about the wellbeing of DASD families? Have they been good stewards of your hard-earned tax dollars to date?
Can you trust them in the future?
Your Vote on November 2nd will determine the fate of the DASD School Board's plan to raise DASD residents' taxes unnecessarily.