Average Homeowner's School Taxes Could Increase $205
Education officials discussed the district's preliminary budget at a special meeting Wednesday. The proposed tax levy is $132.2 million.
The school portion of the average homeowner’s tax bill could increase $205 if the Board of Education approves the 2013-14 budget.
Board members offered a presentation on the district's proposed budget at a special meeting Wednesday at Wayne Hills High School (a copy of the presentation has been attached to this article.) If adopted as proposed, a $132.2 million tax levy would support the overall spending plan.
“Nothing is set in stone yet,” district Superintendent Ray Gonzalez said.
The proposed tax levy increase is $4.9 million above the $127.3 million raised to support the current school district budget, a 3.8 percent increase.
The tax levy would have to be $129.8 million to be at a 2 percent increase, the maximum allowed under the state-mandated cap. Homeowners, assessed at the township average of $229,000, sustained an average $127 property tax increase under the 2012-13 spending plan.
Gonzalez said Wednesday that fixed costs are the greatest driver of the 2013-14 budget. Salaries and benefits could increase from $84.3 million to $86.5 million and $31.4 million to $34.1 million, respectively. Overall fixed costs, including utilities, could rise 4.6 percent from $130.3 million to $136.3 million under the spending plan, with discretionary costs of $5.7 million bringing the proposed expenditures to $142 million.
According to the presentation, the district’s total expected revenues would be $139.5 million, with $129.8 million of the tax levy and $9.7 million in other revenue, such as summer school fees, Medicaid reimbursements and similar line items. The district has not yet been informed of its state aid award, which was $3.8 million last year.
Gonzalez emphasized that the figures in the presentation are not firm and could change before the budget is approved in March.
Officials will give another public presentation at Wayne Valley High School at 7 p.m. March 14. The board is scheduled to adopt the budget at a special meeting March 27. The budget will then be sent to the county superintendent for final approval.