Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board’s Finance Committee Meeting – Tonight – As Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors Unveil their Proposed 2011 Budget

The T/E School Board’s Finance Committee Meeting is tonight, Monday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 PM. The next school-board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 22, at 7:30 PM. Meetings are held at the school district’s administration offices, Room 200, West Valley Business Center, 940 W. Valley Road, Suite 1700, Wayne. Here is the Finance Committee agenda.

A visit to the school district’s website offers Earned Income Tax information, updated on October 26 after the T/E School Board decided not to move forward with the EIT referendum at their October 25 school board meeting.

As a follow-up to the last T/E school board meeting, here is an article that appeared in yesterday’s Main Line Media paper. The school board’s Finance Committee meeting occurs tonight as the township’s Board of Supervisors unveil their proposed 2011 budget. Could be an interesting night on both accounts!

T/E School Board shelves EIT; 2011-12 budget gap remains
By Alan Thomas

Hang on. There may be a collision.

The Tredyffrin/Easttown School Board decided not to push an earned income tax of 1 percent for Tredyffrin and Easttown residents for 2011-12 during its Oct. 25 meeting while, at the same time, its Web site notes that the district is facing a “projected budget gap for the 2011-12 school year of $6.9 million.”

The tax proposal would have been subject to approval in a May 2011 primary-election-ballot referendum. And so the EIT proposal was apparently advanced as the preferred way of avoiding hitting the budget gap head-on. Or so it might have seemed.

At a community informational meeting held at Conestoga High School Oct. 18, around 100 residents heard presentations from Pennsylvania Economy League representative Steve Wray and school-district solicitor Kenneth Roos laying out both advantages and disadvantages to the levy. A week later the board decided not to move forward with the EIT while also moving to “further study” the topic in 2011.

Board secretary and business manager Arthur J. McDonnell said that “the process [of looking at the possibility of an EIT] was started about a year ago. We came up with a series of strategies [to overcome the projected budget gap].” With the present proposal now tabled, McDonnell said that the board would “begin studying it [again] in early spring.” McDonnell did not comment on reasons why the board had made an apparent U-turn.

According to a Web-obtained document attributed to “Inquirer research on county ballot documents,” 63 school districts in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties have or are proposing either EITs or PITs. Personal income taxes (PITs) include dividends, interest, income from trusts, bonds, insurance and stocks as taxable whereas EITs do not.

According to Berkheimer Tax Administrator and posted on the school district’s FAQ Web page, “one-third of the T/E residents currently employed are paying an EIT [to another school district, totaling $3.58 million].”

The projected budget gap will be there.

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  1. Can’t tell if Mr. Thomas’ article is news or editorial – he sure seems to have a point of view, only offering the arguments in favor of an EIT.

    In my opinion, an EIT would have no shot of passing in May, 2011. Germane to this discussion, look at Washington’s I-1098 vote for an income tax only on those individuals with annual income over $200k or joint income over $400k (a tax only on the top 1.2% of earners). This tax was defeated 65% to 35%, as residents apparently understood that one of their primary advantages was lower taxes – sound familiar?

  2. How about first cutting waste – like unnecessary sidewalk projects..enough already. Benefits for any new township or school employee (the union will be screaming) should no longer provide for pension benefits, instead institute a 401K plan. Any “prettying up” projects should stopped. I think people are paying enough, The township needs to stop reaching into our pockets and trim the fat before they take anymore.

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