by Meghan Bobrowsky, Staff Writer

Property owners in the Upper Darby School District — where local tax rates already are among the highest in the region — will pay even more starting July 1.

With officials warning of a potentially dire financial situation and complaining of inadequate funding from Harrisburg, school board members in Upper Darby, one of the state’s largest districts with almost 13,300 students, voted, 6-2, Thursday night to approve a 2.5 percent increase in the real estate levy, or $67 more for the owner of an average-assessed home, at $75,000.

More than 75 percent of the state’s school districts intend to raise property taxes this year, according to a study conducted this month by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials. (Last year’ figure was 70 percent.) As with other districts, Upper Darby officials cite rising pension, charter school, salary, and special education costs.

“We cannot sustain recurring costs,” said Superintendent Dan Nerelli last week, explaining that a tax increase would help the district, in Pennsylvania’s most populous township, stay in operation.

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