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RAYAC News Briefs May 22, 2017



Flood Insurance, Tax Reform Top Issues as Realtors® Head to Washington
Nearly 9,000 Realtors® and industry guests descended upon Washington last week to address regulators and members of Congress on key industry issues, including national flood insurance, tax reform and sustainable homeownership. Realtor® members visited U.S. House and Senate offices to urge Congress to pass a multiyear reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires on September 30. Additionally, Realtors® are seeking to protect sustainable homeownership by advocating for responsible reform of the secondary mortgage market, prohibiting the use of mortgage guarantee fees for any purposes other than credit-risk management, and improving consumer protections for energy efficiency improvement loans. Realtors® also remind legislators that while Realtors® support tax reform, it cannot happen by diminishing the real estate tax provisions that are an essential component of a vibrant housing market and key driver of the economy.
Source:; 5/16/2017


Impact of Tax Reform Options on Home Ownership
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) engaged consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers to review the impacts of an illustrative comprehensive tax reform option that would: lower and consolidate marginal tax rates to three rates with a top rate of 33 percent; double the standard deduction; eliminate all itemized deductions other than charitable contributions and mortgage interest; eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax; and cap the tax rate on pass-through business income at 25 percent. Here are the highlights of the report:

  • Homeowners with an adjusted gross income (AGI) between $50,000 and $200,000 would see an average annual tax increase of $815. Non-homeowners with AGI in the same range would see an average annual tax reduction of $516.
  • Home prices nationwide in the short run would fall by 10.2 percent as a result of the comprehensive tax reform option.
  • The combined tax savings for those who claim the mortgage interest deduction (MID) and real estate tax deduction would fall from over $1.3 trillion for fiscal years 2018-2027 under the current law to just $232 billion under the comprehensive tax reform option, a drop of 82 percent.

Download the full report here .
Source:; 5/16/2017



Upper Adams proposes tax increase

The Upper Adams School Board recently voted 8-0 to advertise a tentative budget for the 2017-18 school year. The budget includes a property tax increase and program cuts. The budget would increase the millage rate from 13.6655 mills to 14.4659 mills. A mill is a tax of $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value. A home assessed at the district average of $181,647 could see a property tax increase of $12.12 per month if the proposed budget is finalized. The budget includes the possibility of borrowing to fund construction of a new elementary school, but additional future action would be required to finalize any borrowing. Information about the budget is available on the Upper Adams School District website . A final decision on the budget is planned for the board's June 20 meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at Biglerville High School.

Source: Gettysburg Times; 5/17/2017


Littlestown Area School District approves proposed budget

The Littlestown Area School District (LASD) board of directors approved a proposed final budget with a recommended 2 percent real estate tax increase. If the final 2017-18 budget is approved at the next meeting, this will be the first time since Act 1, the Taxpayer Relief Act, was enacted in 2006 that the district will not be taxing to the maximum allowed index, according to LASD Business Manager Michael Statler. This year's maximum tax increase allowed for the school district is 3.2 percent, Statler said. The proposed tax would add $43.13 to the annual tax bill on a home assessed at $190,000. The school board will hold a public work session focused on the budget on June 12 at 6 p.m., and its regular meeting on June 19 at 7 p.m., both at Maple Avenue Middle School. The board is scheduled to approve the final budget at the June 19 meeting. Click here for the Littlestown Area School District website.

Source: Gettysburg Times; 5/18/2017


Tax increase likely in Conewago Valley School District

Conewago Valley School Board approved a 2017-18 preliminary budget that recommends a property tax increase. The proposed budget predicts total expenditures of $56.3 million and revenue at $54.6 million, leaving a deficit of approximately $1.8 million. The proposed tax increase of 0.5066 mills ($50.66 on a home assessed at $100,000) would provide additional revenue toward making up the shortfall and balancing the budget. The board will vote to finalize the 2017-18 budget during its June 12 meeting, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in the district's administrative office at 130 Berlin Road, New Oxford. Visit the Conewago Valley School District website for the most up-to-date meeting information.

Source: Gettysburg Times; 5/15/2017


McSherrystown councilman resigns

Councilman Douglas Duvall recently resigned from McSherrystown Borough Council. Duvall cited "an unforeseen job change" as the reason for his resignation. Duvall's term runs through Jan. 1, 2018. Borough council must appoint someone to fill Duvall's seat within 30 days of his May 10 resignation. Anyone who has been a McSherrystown resident for at least one year and is registered to vote is eligible. Contact the borough for more information. Council will appoint someone to fill the vacancy at a special public meeting on May 31, beginning at 7 p.m.

Source: Gettysburg Times; 5/15/2017



West Shore board approves long-term building project

The West Shore School Board has approved a long-term facilities plan for the district that could cost between $218 million and $247 million. The board approved Option 1, recommended by the Facilities and Feasibility Committee, which retains the two high schools and builds six new school buildings. The project will be accomplished in seven phases that are estimated to be completed by 2026. The district's plan to pay for the project is still in development. The district outlined the possible effect the plan will have on millage rates in a newsletter mailed to residents. West Shore's current 13.83 millage rate is the lowest in York County. Superintendent Todd Stoltz was pleased the measure passed. He said the decisions made would keep the district's facilities solvent for the next 25 to 30 years, which he calls "extremely exciting." Construction will begin in 2018 with a new K-4 school at the current site of Rossmoyne Elementary School. Visit the school district website at .

Source: York Dispatch; 5/16/2017


State cites reasons for denial of school district move

In March, the PA Board of Education rejected a plan to allow Washington Township to leave the Dover Area School District and join the Northern York School District. A letter from the state board to Daniel Fennick, the attorney for the petitioners requesting the move, cited the reasons for the denial. Board Chairman Larry Wittig said board members were convinced of arguments made by opponents of the move, including: the likelihood of significant disruption in district facilities at Northern York; the loss of tax revenue in Dover; a "comprehensive and laudable" curriculum at Dover; and the potential negative impact to the community under a district shakeup. Fennick alleged the board based its arguments on public comment instead of the more binding documents and testimony. Wittig confirmed receipt of a request from Fennick for a hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

Source: York Dispatch; 5/18/2017


Referendum allows alcohol sales in Shrewsbury and East Hopewell

A referendum to allow the sale of alcohol in Shrewsbury for the first time since 1935 passed with more than 66 percent of the vote. Giant Food Stores made the push to get the referendum on the ballot with hopes of opening a beer garden at its Shrewsbury store. With the referendum passed, other retailers in Shrewsbury now have the ability to obtain liquor licenses. In East Hopewell Township, a referendum that allows golf courses to sell alcohol passed with more than 65 percent of the vote. The referendum specifies golf courses as an exception; retail liquor licenses like those used at restaurants and beer distributors are still not permitted.

Source: York Daily Record; 5/18/2017


North George Street bridge to be narrowed

The North George Street bridge in York will be narrowed to three lanes to allow for the extension of the York County Heritage Rail Trail. A sidewalk on the east side of the bridge will be widened to about 12 feet to accommodate more pedestrians and bicyclists. A concrete barricade will separate them from vehicles. When complete, the Pennsylvania portion of the trail will consist of about 28 miles stretching from the Maryland border to John C. Rudy Park in East Manchester Township. Visit for more information about area trails.

Source: York Daily Record; 5/15/2017



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