The "PASD presents budget" article in Friday's edition of The Phoenix accurately reflects the revised draft budget presented for the school board's consideration. This draft budget included a 7.88 percent tax increase. However, board discussions and compromise led to a final decision to submit a 6.75 percent tax increase for approval at June 17 board meeting. This is far less than the 7.88 percent reported increase.

The lower 6.75 percent tax increase reflects a balanced budget that utilizes approximately $500,000 in fund balance reserves. Recent state regulations require that all school districts reduce, by the 2005-2006 budget, their financial reserves to no more than 8 percent of annual budgets. The PASD board has begun this process early by using $500,000 of these financial reserves to balance the 2004-2005 budget.

While the board recognizes that a 6.75 percent increase is still significant, it is caused by reductions in non-tax revenues over which the district has no control. The 2004-2005 budget is increasing by only 3.9 percent, reflecting good management control of expenses. However, the loss of certain non-tax revenues translates a 3.9 percent budget increase into a 6.75 percent tax increase.

I would appreciate you printing this letter so that the taxpayers know that the final tax increase to be voted on at the school board's June 17 meeting is not 7.88 percent, but 6.75 percent.

Sincerely,

Bill Mea

Treasurer

Phoenixville Area School District

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