Edison school budget gives relief to taxpayers

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EDISON — The taxpayers of Edison will feel a bit of relief in their wallets when opening the next quarterly tax bill.

In May, the Board of Education (BOE) made a promise when adopting the 2017-18 school budget — to use the expected $1.45 million in additional state aid to provide direct tax relief to homeowners.

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In June, a new school funding plan was approved in the state budget for the 2018 fiscal year providing $100 million in new aid for districts.

The board has kept its promise through a resolution that was approved at a board meeting on July 31.

“This can help validate the trust of the community in the Edison Public Schools Board of Education,” Board President Frank Heelan said. “We really are trying to live within our means and be stewards of taxpayers money.”

Heelan said the board has tried hard to trim the budget here and there.

“This will not affect programs in the 2017-18 school year, and I think it is a very prudent move,” he said.

Heelan said the increased aid drops the tax increase from 1.8 percent to 1.1 percent.

The board approved the $238.15 million budget in May, which carried a $99 tax increase on a home assessed at the township average of $178,400.

Board Business Administrator Dan Michaud said with the reallocation of $1.45 million in state aid, the average homeowner will now bear an $81 tax increase, which is an $18 savings from the previous adopted tax increase.

The total state aid the district received increased from $14.04 million to $15.5 million. The board re-certified the 2017-18 budget with the local tax levy reduced by $1.46 million, Michaud said.

The average taxpayer’s school portion of the tax bill will now be $5,309 from $5,228 in 2016.

Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley commended the school board for its’ long term financial planning and the board’s ability to strategically balance the interests of the Edison taxpayers, students and staff in the school system.

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