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Bayonne Board of Ed passes proposed budget that will hike school taxes by 2 percent
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Bayonne Board of Ed passes proposed budget that will hike school taxes by 2 percent

March 04, 2012, 7:00 PM
By Andrew Steadman - The Jersey Journal

The Board of Education has adopted an operating budget for the upcoming school year that will raise school taxes by 2 percent for the average property owner.

The increase represents the first hike the in the local school tax levy in the past four years, district officials said.

The 2 percent hike was prompted by a diminution in federal aid, a 250-student enrollment increase, and having surplus money than in previous years; and it is the highest increase allowed under state law, officials said.

At a special meeting on Thursday , the Bayonne Board of Education adopted a proposed $113.5 million operating budget that calls for $58.2 million to be raised from local taxpayers, a $1.1 million increase in the school tax levy over the current budget year, which ends June 30.

The $113.5 million figure represents a slight decrease from the current year's $114 million operating budget. But the current budget contains a $1.8 million one-shot federal grant and more than $3 million in surplus revenue, money the proposed new budget will not contain, according to district accountant Brian Buckley.

Board of Education president William Lawson said a lack of state funding was another factor influencing the Board's decision to raise the tax levy.

"This district is the most under-funded district in the state of New Jersey, according to their own formula," Lawson said.

Bayonne schools will receive $52.8 million in state aid for the 2012-2013 school year, a 5.6 percent increase over the current year. But district Business Administrator Leo Smith said that the combined federal and state aid figure was around $59 million four years ago.

The proposed budget must still be approved by the Lawson said the proposed budget still must be approved by the Hudson County office of the state Department of Education and reviewed by the Board of School Estimate on March 28, Lawson said.

The Board of School Estimate, comprised of Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith, City Council members Debra Czerwienski and Ray Greaves, and Board of Education members Lawson and Michael Masone, can remove appropriations from the budget but cannot add spending, officials said. ... ard_of_education_pas.html

Posted on: 2012/3/10 17:30

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