The York Suburban School District might double its activity fee as one means of closing a nearly $1 million deficit in its 2013-14 budget.

The activity fee of $25 was adopted for the 2011-12 school year, but the board is considering doubling it to $50 for next year.

The fee is paid by each grade 7-12 student who is involved in at least one extracurricular activity, such as band or sports. It is a one-time fee and covers all the activities in which a student is involved.

The $48.1 million updated budget proposal unveiled Monday includes $25,000 in additional revenue from raising the fee, York Suburban Superintendent Kate Orban said.

Orban noted Dover already has a $50 activity fee.

The move would be a small part of closing the approximately $1 million gap without having to use district surplus. The district is proposing to cut building allocations by 10 percent, and saving $75,000 in energy costs through an already approved facilities project through Johnson Controls.

Taxes: The budget calls for a 1.57 percent tax increase, which falls under the 1.7 percent state property tax cap for York Suburban.

A 1.57 percent tax hike would increase the mill rate to 21.03, about a $50 increase for a $150,000 homeowner.

Raising taxes to 1.7 percent would give York Suburban a little bit of revenue to put in its reserves, and would only add $4 to the $150,000 homeowner's tax bill compared to a 1.


57 percent

Board member John DeHaas said the question the board has to think about is whether it is worth it to have the taxpayers pay an extra $4 to build the fund balance.

The budget also calls for York Suburban to make driver's education optional for sophomores. The district pays $50 per student to take an online driver's ed course, so removing the requirement should save the district several thousand dollars by having fewer students signed up, according to business manager Dennis Younkin.

And York Suburban would also leave vacant about half a dozen staff positions, including two elementary school teachers, to save about $553,000. With all of those reductions and revenue changes, the $1 million gap can be closed, Younkin said.

The board will vote on a proposed budget on Monday, April 22, and will decide whether to consider increasing taxes by 1.57 percent or 1.7 percent.

- Reach Shannon Prusak at