EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Board of Education adopted its 2018-19 school budget last month by a vote of 8-0.
The approved budget raises the school tax rate by 2.5 cents to $2.02 per $100 of assessed property value. It increases the school tax bill on the average township assessed at $200,000 by $50 per year, according to Chandra D. Anaya, the district's school business administrator.
The 2.5 cent increase in the tax rate is the lowest impact the school district has had on taxpayers since the 2014-15 school year.
Superintendent Dr. Kimberly A. Gruccio said the 2018-19 budget had been worked on since September when the 2017-18 budget was frozen.
"We're very proud that we presented a balanced budget to the public," said Gruccio, who added there was no public comment when the budget passed. "That tells me we have been transparent, thorough and efficient and communicated effectively, and we're very happy."
The budget is $140.9 million, including $128.9 for general expenditures such as salaries, transportation and building costs. The total debt-service fund is $8.8 million, the same as last year. The budget is within the 2 percent cap on tax-levy increases as imposed by the state.
The proposed local tax levy is $77.1 million. State aid increased from $40.6 million the previous year to $44.3 million for the upcoming school year.
The district has seen its student population grow from 6,000 students to a high of 8,000 pupils to its current amount of 7,500 students.
Even though the district has had an increase in students, it has received the same funding as if it were still at 6,000 students.
The school district has received $27 million less than it should have each year since 2008-09 for a total amount of more than $300 million. The district estimates it should be receiving $67 million for the upcoming school year, but it will not receive that much.