In its annual (and singular) newsletter it sends to the community, the Jenkintown School District announces a property tax hike of 2.3% which nudges past the rate of inflation.
This comes after successive hikes over the past five years ranging from 2.5% to 3%, which the District primarily blamed on falling property values in the business district against rising pension obligations.
In the past, District Superintendent Dr. Jill Takacs put aside any criticism about its recent decision to spend more $560,000 on the new security vestibule, claiming that the money came from the capital budget and not operating funds.
However, it is from operating budget that the District will pay interest on the $1.3 million loan it received to pay for the vestibule and other unspecified capital improvements.
As a result, the debt service will increase from $1,250,216 to $1,292,577, a difference of $42,361, a 3.4% increase. This amount will buy 85 laptops, or 10,500 school lunches or about 500,000 pencils or 2,774 copies of Corruption in America by Zephyr Teachout.
Let’s hope we have indeed turned a corner, as the Distict’s business manager, Zorian Dubenko has claimed. Let’s also hope that Borough Council gets at least one new council member that truly understands the importance of bolstering our commercial district and the consequences if they fail.
Above: Council President Maya Cheek, Superintendent Jill Takacs, and District Business Manager Zorian Dubenko.