By Jim Melwert

LOWER MERION, PA (CBS) — Lower Merion School District has lost an appeal of a court ruling that calls into question the amount the district has raised taxes over the past decade.

In August, a Montgomery County judge ruled Lower Merion School District was inflating special education and pension costs so they could side-step a state law and raise taxes above a certain percentage, without taking it to voters.

The school district appealed but that’s been dismissed by Commonwealth Court.

Attorney Arthur Wolk brought the suit on behalf of residents. He says he believes the decision sends an important message.

“You cannot tax for more than you need. So if you come out and say to the tax payers, ‘oh, next years budget we’re going to have a deficit of $9 million, we need a tax increase,’ you better have that deficit,” said Wolk.

But Lower Merion School District says the Commonwealth Court decision is based on a filing technicality, and does not address whether or not there was wrongdoing by the district.

An attorney representing the district says “what happens next will depend on a number of factors and the District’s next step is under consideration.”