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School Budget Hearing Wednesday, Tax Increase Anticipated

Hearing set for 7 p.m. at Ridgeway Elementary School

Manchester school district administrators will present the district's 2012-13 spending plan, which includes a tax increase, during a special Wednesday night budget hearing. 

The almost $48 million budget includes a tax rate increase of 5 cents per $100 of assessed home value, which translates into about a $98 yearly tax increase for the average home assessed at $194,600, said business administrator Craig Lorentzen.

The budget will be presented in detail during a 7 p.m. hearing in the  media center.

The anticipated rise in taxes is mainly due to a $115 million drop in the township's rateable base, since five senior cooperatives recently won tax appeals, Lorentzen said.

"The ratables played a pretty significant part on the tax rate this year," Lorentzen said. "If the ratables were close to last year, it would have been about a $40 [average] increase."

The board during a special meeting earlier in March. The budget represents a general fund increase of over $1 million compared to the 2011-12 budget. 

The tax levy has increased from $38,560,101 for the 2011-12 cycle to $39,331,303 for 2012-13; the debt service tax levy is up from $2,102,060 to $2,185,454.

Lorentzen said that he hopes the public will attend the meeting since administrators will present the cost drivers, ways the district is saving money and discuss upcoming state legislation that may affect future budgets. 

"We'll present a lot of information tonight," he said. "We're always interested to have residents come out to hear what we have to say."

The budget includes a total of $5,370,017 in state aid, a 2.3 percent increase from the $5,248,309 awarded in 2011-12. But because of increased payments to the state, that additional aid for the next school year will only yield the district about $10,000, Lorentzen said. 

When the tentative budget was passed, Superintendent of Schools David Trethaway said that administrators are "optimistic" that the final adopted budget will remain within the 2 percent state-mandated cap. Anything over that amount would be put to a public vote in November under the new law passed by the state which  — the public otherwise will not vote on the budget. 

"We should not be putting anything up for a vote," Trethaway said. 

As for staff and programs, Trethaway said that those should remain stable. 

"We don't see any need for a reduction in staff or programs," he said.

The approved tentative budget:

General Fund Revenue $47,742,818 Special Revenue Fund Revenues $1,223,792 Debt Service Fund Revenues $2,272,894 General Fund Tax Levy $39,331,303 Debt Service Fund Tax Levy $2,185,454
ballyjduf March 29, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I can't believe you ....mister know it all , postings on every patch website in the area Isn't smart enough to go to the ocean county tax board for that info .
Mark Wendell March 29, 2012 at 09:12 PM
I tried to use a link from the clerks office but it took me to the tourism site. I tried a web search but didnt call it what you just did so it didnt get me there, going to try now, Thanx.
Mark Wendell March 29, 2012 at 09:12 PM
I tried to use a link from the clerks office but it took me to the tourism site. I tried a web search but didnt call it what you just did so it didnt get me there, going to try now, Thanx.
ballyjduf March 29, 2012 at 09:56 PM
http://www.tax.co.ocean.nj.us/ main site
Mark Wendell March 30, 2012 at 11:49 PM
@ballyjdaf, thank you for direct link...

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