EGG HARBOR CITY — The Board of Education approved its 2013-14 budget Wednesday night, increasing the tax rate by 3.4 percent but also saving money through staff cutbacks.

The new tax rate — up 3.9 cents to $1.29 per $100 of valuation — means a tax bill of $1,290 for every $100,000 of assesssed valuation, district Business Administrator Joseph Smurlo said.

As of Jan. 1, 2014, when Superintendent John Gilly III retires, the board voted to eliminate the superintendent position and one principal position for the 546-student pre-K to 8 district, and create instead one combined position.

The board also voted to eliminate two full-time teachers and two part-time classroom aides. One of each will be cut through attrition, but layoffs will be necessary to cut the other two.

The total budget of the district increases to $9.977 million, with $2.9 million coming from tax levies, an increase of $96,000.

The cost of health insurance is going up by $111,000; out-of-district tuition by $18,000 and salaries by $102,655, Smurlo said in a presentation.

While state aid went up by about $111,000 to almost $5.2 million, Gilly said, decreases in other types of specific state aid and increases in payments to the state bring the net increase down to $5,260, he said.

There was a $36,288 decrease in preschool aid; a $1,112 decrease in debt service aid; and a $69,020 increase in the amount the district must pay for its SDA assessment to pay the state for bonds to build the new community school, Gilly said.

“Trenton giveth, and Trenton taketh away,” Gilly said.

The budget did exceed the state-mandated 2 percent cap, but the excess involved health costs that are exempt and the use of banked cap money from previous years when they did not reach the spending limit.

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