Last night, the Roselle Park Board Of Education (BOE) passed the tentative budget for the 2015-16 school year. While the $33,411,846 budget is a 2.8% increase from last school year, the amount to be raised by taxes for the coming school year is $21,142,768; a 6.6% increase from last year.
Revenues lessened the burden on property taxes by over $12 million, with about $10 million coming from state aid. Susan Guercio, the Roselle Park School District (RPSD) Business Administrator, stated that the amount for state aid remained the same as last year.
|Taxes To Be Raised|
The school district, in this budget, had an over $400,000 increase in what is termed ‘enrollment adjustment’. This, according to the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE), is the projected per pupil tax levy multiplied by the phased-in enrollment growth. Mrs. Guercio reported that she believed the increase in the student population due to the implementation of full-day kindergarten was a factor in the significant increase. Health benefits saw an increase of almost 19% to bring that total to $201,537.
This budget also has the district using the last of its available banked cap money. This is an amount that the state allows school districts to ‘bank’ and use for any amount that was not raised by taxation in any previous school year budget up to three years prior. In other words, any amount of the 2% cap on property tax increases not raised in any single school budget year can be used up to three years later without having to bring that amount before voters. The school district was last under that 2% in the 2012-13 school budget. It has increased the tax levy amount by the full 2% every year since. This total amount of $878,010 is an exemption of the 2% tax levy increase and will be included in this school year’s budget.
Debt service is another important amount that is exempt from the 2% cap and this year’s amount for that is $688,100 – a 5.5% increase from 2014-15. These are funds that are to be paid back for long term bonds, which, in Roselle Park’s case, was in the form of a referendum to construct and renovate facilities at the start of the century.
According to Mrs. Guercio, the 3.2% decrease in the districts revenue was, in part, a result in the decline of out-of-district tuition. This is revenue collected for families who pay to have their children educated in Roselle Park who are from out of town.
The budget was passed unanimously by those BOE members in attendance, absent from the meeting were Rodric Bowman and Troy Gerten.
During the meeting, the BOE set two (2) dates for budget information sessions that will provide further detail into what is being included in the budget. These dates are April 1st and April 22nd – both are Wednesdays.
The public hearing for the school district budget is scheduled for Tuesday, April 28th.