QUESTION: Is the district going to redistrict sending boundaries prior to Full Day Kindergarten?
RESPONSE: The Methacton School District has engaged FLO Analytics with providing a student enrollment forecast by elementary zone. Their report to the Board will occur in June 2022. The district has asked that FLO provide redistricting scenarios as part of their report. The District does not plan on implementing any scenario or changing elementary school boundaries prior to or during the 2022-2023 school year. The district will consider the scenarios for discussion and potential implementation prior to the start of the 2023-2024 school year at the earliest.
QUESTION: What has been the historical result of the district’s annual budgeting?
RESPONSE: The district has presented a 5-year budget to audited actual summary highlighting the following:
- Methacton’s millage rate for 2021-2022 is the 10th lowest in the county out of 21 districts.
- Over the past 10 years, Methacton’s millage increase has been the 7th lowest in the county.
- Our 5 year variance of budget to actual for revenue is 0.56% and for expenditures 0.97%.
- We have had fiscal years end with a surplus and had years end in a deficit.
- The district has used year end surpluses to make capital investments while avoiding interest and fees associated with borrowing money and keeping with our responsible fiduciary use of tax payer funds.
See presentation from April 26, 2022.
QUESTION: What is the district going to do with the funds it has now that the tax appeal court case with Shannondell has concluded?
RESPONSE: The Methacton School District tax appeal court case with Shannondell, referenced as SWD 101 LLC and WNR 38 LLC, was ordered on February 7, 2022 by the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. Following a three-day trial, during which the judge ruled that neither party provided sufficient, competent, and credible evidence to overcome the Montgomery County Board of Assessments taxing determination and, therefore, the court ordered the adoption of the county taxing authority on market values and assessments for the said properties for the years in dispute.
The matter that began in 2006 with a taxpayer appeal and lasted for 16 subsequent tax years was ordered and the appeal deadline passed bringing the case involving those tax years with this taxpayer to a close.
The district, as a result of the taxpayer filing in protest of their taxes, began in 2011 under requirements of law, placing 25% of the due tax from taxpayer into an escrow account. The escrow would range from $600k to $800k over this period of time. It would generally increase with each tax year. The escrow account, at the conclusion of the case, ended with $7,193,687.
The Board of School Directors will be making a determination for use of these funds prior to June 30, 2022. The Superintendent of Schools has recommended that the best use of the Shannondell escrow funds ($7,193,687), from a strategic perspective, whereby allowing us to keep our commitment to our students, our community and our taxpayers, should be directed to current or future capital matters as outlined in the district Master Facilities plan. Dr. Zerbe indicates that the Master Plan update draft will be presented in May and the final version in June of 2022.
PRESENTATION: Capital Reserve and Shannondell Escrow Recommendations