Somers Point school budget adds 1.59 cents to tax rate

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SOMERS POINT – Residents here will see nearly $16 tacked on to their school taxes for each $100,000 of assessed property value in the coming fiscal year.

The Somers Point Board of Education unanimously approved a $16.4 million general fund school budget Thursday, March 22 which requires taxpayers to fund $8.4 million and raises the taxes 1.59 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

The tax rate was struck at $1.264, which equals $1,264 per $100,000 of assessed property value. The district received $5.6 million in state aid and carried over $141,949 of state aid from last year. The total budget increased $556,654 over last year, and the district received $364,792 more in state aid than last year.

Superintendent Jeff Miller said the budget allows the district to keep what it has and make some upgrades.

“The last few years have been cut, cut, cut,” Miller said.

The budget calls for technology upgrades including continuing the program to provide an Apple laptop to all students in sixth through eighth grades. The past three years the district had received a 21st Century grant, but this year the district will have to fund the program on its own at a cost of $41,000.

The district will also reinstate field trips and add two part-time kindergarten aides in addition to an in-school suspension teacher for middle school.

In addition to the tax levy and state aid, the budget includes $37,365 in miscellaneous revenue and $514,761 in surplus revenue.

The district expects to complete exterior work on the New York Avenue School, which includes repointing.

Miller said enrollment, which recently saw a downward trend, increased this year to 1,117 at last count after beginning the year with 1,060 students.

Residents have no vote on the school budget, since it is below the 2 percent state tax levy cap following a new law this year.

The school board election was moved to November after the state legislature cleared the way and the local board approved the measure.

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