District: Expected School Tax Increase Less Than 1.3 Percent
West Orange Board of Education releases preliminary figures of budget before final presentation next week.
The West Orange school district announced Friday the expected school tax increase will be 1.29 percent or less, a spokesperson for the district said.
The proposed 1.29 percent tax increase, for an average assessed home at $339,000, would raise taxes approximately $186.
The board said it is still working to cut the budget where it can before the final budget is presented next week.
The tax increase is mainly due to capital improvements across the district. In the final budget presentation, a slide show will detail the important repairs in schools, the administration said.
The remainder of the tax increase will pay for required training and new equipment, as well as increases in insurance and maintenance costs.
On March 4, the board unanimously passed a $132,977,874 tentative budget for the 2013-2014 school year, which came in $3.2 million more than last year's.
However, according to a spokesperson for the district Friday, the board has asked Interim Superintendent James O'Neill to cut costs twice in the last few weeks.
Board president Michelle Casalino said previously, the tax increase involved with the tentative budget needed to be reduced. "Obviously that's too high," she said.
O'Neill explained previously, even if the district did not hire or purchase anything new for schools, the budget would increase because of costs the administration contracts out.
West Orange received flat funding from New Jersey this year, which gives the district a total in $6,809,707 of state aid.
The final budget will be presented and approved at the Board of Education meeting Wednesday, March 27 at the West Orange High School.