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School Tax Bill Rises Under Tentative Budget

West Belmar school stays open; custodians cut

The average school tax bill will increase $156 over last year’s bill, according to budget figures provided by the school district.

The Wall Township school board on Thursday released additional figures supporting its $60 million 2011-12 tentative budget that were unavailable when the Board of Education voted to introduce the spending plan Tuesday.

The  $60,690,000 budget is up $1,004,500 from last year’s $59,685,500 budget, an increase of about 1.68 percent.

The 2011-12 plan, while not yet finalized, is supported by a $56,750,239 tax levy, which is up $1,032,890 from the 2010 levy of $55,717,349. That’s an increase of about 1.85 percent.

The proposed tax rate of $1.557 for each $100 of home value is up 4.9 cents from last year’s rate of $1.508, an increase of 3.25 percent.

On a property valued at $318,223 – the township average, according to the state Department of Community Affairs -- the school tax bill under the tentative plan would be $4,954.73, an increase of $155.93 over last year’s $4,798.80 bill.

The school tax bill is only one portion of the overall property tax bill, which also includes municipal, fire district and county taxes.

Schools Superintendent James Habel on Tuesday said the budget was malleable and could be changed before the March 29 public presentation.

Included in the tentative spending plan is West Belmar School, which under the plan . The district’s custodial staff, however, would be outsourced, officials have said.

Jeffrey Kniffin March 11, 2011 at 01:29 PM
To put this in more everyday terms, this tax increase on the average home in Wall Township is not only under the 2% cap, but it equates to $12.99 a month or $0.43 a day. This is LESS than the cost of mailing a letter each and every day to Governor Christie asking for more of your hard earned tax dollars to return to OUR schools in the form of state aid and less to go to the failing "Abbott Districts" where an average of $30,000 per child is spent each and every year. Wall schools spend around $13,000 a year per child for continuing the great quality of education here. The overall tax bill looks like this: $412.89 per month on the average home or $13.54 per day. You can't hire a babysitter to watch your ONE kid for $13.54 a day let alone all of them AND educate them. Keeping a district budget under the State mandated 2% cap is a struggle for anyone. The BOE was able to do it AND include West Belmar Elementary School in on the budget. There have been too many cuts for too many years, it is time the community rallies and says enough cuts and passes this budget.
Hank Chinaski March 11, 2011 at 04:04 PM
Unbelievable how the Wall Patch and Asbury Park Press are spinning this budget increase as a direct result of keeping West Belmar open! Why is the focus on West Belmar? How can the FIXED COST of a building that has been a part of this school system since Wall has been a town, be considered part of a budget increase??? You're hunting the wrong prey here, Keith. How much of the budget increase is due to professional development associated with block scheduling at the high school? How much of the budget increase is due to ineffective, or absent, benefit restucturing for all employees? How much of the budget increase is due to paying for Dr. Habel's Denali? There is REAL WASTE in this budget. That is guaranteed. True journalists will hunt that prey, not have it force fed to them by a bullying administration and Board of Education.
Tom Davis (Editor) March 11, 2011 at 04:36 PM
Thank you, Hank, for your comment. We appreciate the advice. Our editors and reporters try to cover all sides of a story and present the information in a deliverable and understandable fashion. I'm sure there are many more questions that can be asked about this story. Our mission is to provide the main news as it breaks. We did. Thanks again.

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