HAMILTON TOWNSHIP — Taxpayers in Hamilton and Galloway townships will pay more to the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District, while those in Mullica Township and Egg Harbor City will pay less.

The district’s Board of Education approved the district’s $71.5 million 2013-14 budget at the Monday night meeting by an 8-1 vote. Board member Michael Petusky was the only person to vote against the budget, which increased almost 4 percent.

The budget included $29.3 million to be raised by taxes, a 7 percent increase. Under this budget, the owners of the average home:

* in Hamilton Township, assessed at about $187,190, will see their tax bill increase by about $88 to $889 with the new rate of $0.801 per $100 assessed value;

* in Galloway Township, assessed at about $223,356, will see their tax bill increase by about $47 to $1,050 with the new rate of $0.474 per $100 assessed value;

* in Mullica Township, assessed at about $116,133, will see their tax bill decrease by about $2 to $930 with the new rate of $0.470 per $100 assessed value;

* in Egg Harbor City, assessed at about $142,667, will see their tax bill decrease by about $107 to $775 with the new rate of $0.543 per $100 assessed value.

Tax rates are set in part by the state alloting the bill among constituent communities based on student populations. District officials previously said the biggest increases were health insurance for the district’s 534 employees, up 13 percent to $11.7 million. Out-of-district placements for students needing specialized instruction will also increase 13 percent to $7.7 million.

In the budget presentation, Superintendent Steven Ciccariello touted the standards of the district’s three schools, including updated technology, adult schooling, and honors and AP classes.

Charles Muller, the business administrator, discussed the finances, saying that approximately 92 percent of the budget’s costs are fixed.

William Christman, the only member of the public to comment on the budget, warned the board that taxpayers were already straining to meet their current tax burden. Christman, 61, of Hamilton Township, said his taxes alone have increased from $8,500 to about $13,000 in recent years.

Regional school taxes are just part of a bill, along with assessments for local schools and county and municipal government, Christman pointed out. He said, “You start adding all of those together, and it’s a big nut.”

Contact Derek Harper:

609-272-7046

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