Tax Increase Lowered in WD Schools' Tentative Budget
The West Deptford Board of Education passed a preliminary budget that included a reduction in the tax rate increase thanks to a boost in state aid.
A bit of relief in the form of increased state aid has helped to lower the initial tax levy on township residents in the tentative West Deptford School District budget for 2013-14.
The school board passed a tentative budget of approximately $44.696 million at Monday night's meeting.
The tax increase, which was originally presented as 9.90¢ per $100 of assessed value at a budget work session meeting back on Feb. 23, now stands at a 8.344¢ increase per $100 of assessed value.
Much of the reduction in the tax rate increase was due to an increase in state aid. Last week, the school district received a 3.8 percent increase in state aid from the 2012-13 school year. The total amount of state aid the school district will receive for 2013-14 is $11,973,549. In the presentation that Superintendent Kevin Kitchenman gave during the budget work session, he said he budgeted for state aid to remain flat this year.
Kitchenman said that changes in expected health care costs for next year were also factored into the change of the tax rate increase as well. He made sure to emphasize that the budget is far from final.
“This budget is merely a requirement with the county's superintendent's office,” Kitchenman stated.
The school district is required to send a temporary budget to the Gloucester County regional superintendent by Thursday. Kitchenman stated that the county superintendent has the authority to cut anything from the budget.
The school board will also continue to work on the a final budget over the next three weeks. Board President Christopher Strano said that the board's finance committee will meet next week to fine tune the budget.
The school board is expected to vote on the final budget at the next board meeting on March 25. West Deptford residents no longer vote to approve or reject the school district budget.
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