The Brigantine Board of School Estimates approved the district’s 2013-14 school budget Wednesday, with a 4 percent increase in the tax rate.
Interim Superintendent William Gussie said the $19.7 million budget includes a 1.4 cent tax increase. That would raise the school tax rate from last year’s 40 cents to 41.4 cents per $100 of assessed value.
That would mean properties valued at the average residential assessment of $499,316 would pay $2,067 in local school taxes, up less than 4 percent from the $1,997 paid last year.
Board members Phil Guenther, Michelle McGuire and Matt Doran voted in favor of the plan, and Frank Kern and Lisa McClay opposed it.
The school’s tax levy actually decreased this year, from $16.3 million to $15.7 million, but Gussie said the decline in property valuation means taxpayers will see an increase in their bills.
“The district took great pains to maintain costs in light of what happened from Sandy in our community,” he said.
Gussie said the budget calls for the same number of staff, although some teachers were transferred to fill growing needs. A basic skills teacher, for instance, is now filling the role of a special education teacher.
One of the more prominent cost increases is in the area of equipment. The replacement of a van destroyed in flooding from Hurricane Sandy and upgrades to computers and security equipment contributed to a 214 percent increase to $174,000.
This year’s average per-pupil cost of $18,220 reflects a 16 percent increase since the 2010-11 school year.
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