The National Compensation Survey (NCS) is an establishment-based survey that provides comprehensive measures of (1) employer costs for employee compensation, including wages and salaries, and benefits, (2) compensation trends, and (3) the incidence of employer-sponsored benefits among workers. The NCS also publishes estimates on the provisions of employer-sponsored benefit plans.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education uses the ECI as an inflationary measure to determine how much school districts can raise property taxes each year. Pennsylvania began using the ECI in 2005 after the General Assembly passed and Governor signed a new local tax reform alternative, Act 72, which is entitled “The Homeowner Tax Relief Act.” This tax reform initiative was designed to reduce the property tax burden on Pennsylvania residents.
As part of this legislation, the Pennsylvania Department of Education started using the ECI as a component in creating a base inflation index in order to determine the maximum school district property tax increase allowed.
The base index is calculated by averaging the percent increases in the Pennsylvania Statewide average weekly wage (as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor) and the annual percent change (June reference month) in the ECI elementary and secondary school series.
For example, the 2008–2009 school year
Percent increase in Statewide weekly wage: 4.3%
Percent annual ECI increase (June 2007): 4.5%
Base inflation index : 4.4%
Further adjustments are made to each individual school distric’s inflation index based on the district’s relative market value and personal income valuation, compared to the statewide average. For school districts with a market value/personal income aid ratio (MV/PI AR) greater than 0.4000, the value of their index is adjusted upward by multiplying the base index by the sum of 0.75 and their MV/PI AR.
For example, the Scranton school district
State base inflation index: 4.4%
Scranton MV/PI aid ratio: .6999
Adjusted index= 4.4% X (.75 + .6999) = 6.4%
Therefore, the Scranton school district can raise property taxes no more than 6.4%.
The “Homeowner Tax Relief Act” did not mandate that school districts participate, but in 2006 Pennsylvania legislators passed another bill entitled the “Taxpayer Relief Act,” which required that all school districts comply with the new policies. As such, all property owners and school districts in Pennsylvania are now affected by the ECI&derived base index.
Last Modified Date: January 10, 2020