HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — The Board of Education proposed a budget this week that would raise taxes by 2.5 cents per $100 assessed value, or about $25 next year for the owner of an average-assessed home.
Under the current average assessment of $187,200, homeowners pay about $1,512 under the 80.8-cent tax rate. But the average assessment has decreased following rounds of tax appeals. The owner of an average home, assessed at $184,500, would pay about $1,537 for the local schools with the proposed 83.3-cent tax rate.
The overall budget would increase by less than 1 percent, to $48 million. Most of that spending would continue to go to salaries and benefits, which district Business Administrator Dan Smith said would increase by about 1 percent, to $32.2 million.
Superintendent Michelle Cappelluti said the district had hoped to get between 1 percent and 2 percent more state aid. Instead, it got a 0.7 percent increase, which she called “a little discouraging.”
The budget includes spending to hire a teacher for enrichment programs, such as gifted and talented, at the George L. Hess Educational Complex. Cappelluti said the budget would also pay to convert from part time to full time a position to teach English to students for whom it is not their native language. The district now has five such teachers.
The district planned to reduce spending on maintenance, transportation and long-term expenses.
Cappelluti said class size would remain about the same, 14 students per teacher in each grade level. The district has lost 70 to 100 students in recent years as demographics have shifted.
State and district tax figures show the amount the average township resident pays in local school taxes has changed less than 1 percent over the past five years.
A detailed presentation and hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 26 at William Davies Middle School.
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