Wayne Lost $35 Million In Tax Base Since Last Year
Smaller base helps push taxes higher
The township lost $35 million of its tax base between this year and last year, a loss that is contributing to the average homeowner being asked to pay $182 more in school taxes, officials said.
The average homeowner's property is valued at $229,000.
While the number may seem large, it only represents a small portion of Wayne's $5.2 billion tax base.
“The tax levy isn’t the only portion of the budget that impacts local taxes,” said Juanita Petty, the Wayne School District’s business administrator.
Petty and the Board of Education gave a presentation Tuesday about the district’s proposed budget for the 2012-2013 school year.
The $182 represents a 3.3 percent increase for the average homeowner. The district’s proposed tax levy is approximately $129.8 million. Of that $129.7 million, $117.2 million would fund employee salaries and benefits, a nearly 4 percent increase year to year. The district spent $4 milllion on instructional supplies this school year. It is projecting to spend about $3.3 million this year.
In an effort to keep taxes down, the board has opted not to add an additional $1.7 million in banked cap funds. The town council cut $1.7 million from last year’s $126.6 million tax levy in May of last year after taxpayers voted it down in April.
“We have two goals: One is to be fiscally prudent, the other is to ensure that we continue to make this district excellent and move it forward,” board trustee Mitchell Badiner previously said.
District officials will hold another public hearing on the budget on Monday, March 26. Officials may discuss possible cuts to programs and services. The district’s final budget is scheduled to be approved at a special meeting March 29.