ALEX GELI | Staff Writer | Jul 9, 2018

Your current school property tax rates may be lower than they were a year ago, but don’t expect to pay any less.

In fact, all 17 local school districts have raised taxes in their approved 2018-19 budgets.

This year’s rates were based on the new assessed home values after the county reassessment. Because the majority of homes were assessed at higher values, and since reassessments must be revenue neutral, tax rates were adjusted downward after the new property values were determined.

But districts then had the option of increasing the adjusted rate for the new budget year. And each one did so.

As a result, 2018-19 property tax rates are increasing between 0.5 percent and 6.3 percent, depending where you live in the county, as school boards continue to struggle with unfunded state mandates and construction costs.

Warwick adopted the smallest increase (0.5 percent) while residents in the Lancaster portion of Octorara Area, which straddles Lancaster and Chester counties, will see the highest increase (6.3 percent). Penn Manor has the second-highest tax increase at 4.6 percent.

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