Proposed Cape May school budget raises taxes 4 percent

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CAPE MAY — The Cape May school board is proposing to raise taxes by 4 percent in a $3.4 million budget introduced Thursday, March 13.

A property owner whose home is assessed at $500,000 would pay about $13.50 more in taxes next school year.

Although the proposed budget is $90,542 less than last year’s, business administrator John Thomas said that he’s expecting a major shortfall in federal Impact Aid next academic year. Impact Aid is given to school districts whose children live on or parents work on federal property.

In this case, the federal property is the Coast Guard base. So far this school year, the elementary school has only received $470,677, or about 80 percent, of its Impact Aid, Thomas said.

The anticipated amount for 2013-14 school year is $610,000, according to the budget on the school district’s website.

Thomas said that the decrease in Impact Aid likely comes from the federal sequester. Those are automatic cuts in the federal budget that cuts funding for services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and military servicemen and women.

Also in the preliminary budget, Thomas said the school district has seen increases in salaries and benefits.

In addition, placing special education students will costing about $170,000 a year. Four special-education students attend the county’s special services school and one goes to Vineland.

This school year’s tax rate is $.0536 per $100 assessed value. Thomas expects next school year’s to be $.0563 cents, though that figure isn’t final or official.

Under the proposed budget, taxpayers would be responsible for paying $1,574,143. The proposed budget totals $3,463,649; the 2013-14 budget is $3,554,191.

Thomas said the proposed budget has to be submitted to the county superintendent by March 20.


—  Alex Davis

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