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Cranbury school board adopts 2022-23 budget with slight tax rate increase

Cranbury School District facilities referendum next item on the agenda for Cranbury voters.

Property owners in Cranbury will see a slight increase to their school tax rate after the Cranbury Township Board of Education adopted a $20.9 million budget to fund district operations for the 2022-23 school year.

The school board unanimously voted to adopt the budget at a Board of Education meeting on April 27.

Board President Pramod Chivate, Vice President Dominique Jones, and Board members Lindsay McDowell, Laura Hoffman, Emma Bossard, Katherine Lara, Lisa Rue, Colleen Raymond and Robert Christopher voted “yes” on the measure to adopt the budget.

The 2022-23 budget will maintain educational programs, staffing and services that are offered to students in the Cranbury School from pre-Kindergarten to eighth grade.

Additionally, the budget includes funds for tuition payments to Princeton Public Schools, transportation services and out-of-district special education payments, according to the school district budget presentation.

The budget will also allow for two additional teachers and one teacher assistant, necessary personal protective equipment and improvements the school’s technology infrastructure.

To support the $20.9 million budget, residential and commercial property owners in the township will pay a tax levy of $18.4 million in 2022-23 budget.

The levy is a slight increase from the previous school year budget, which means property owners will pay about $361,353 in additional school property taxes to support the district.

For the 2021-22 school year, residential and commercial property owners in the township paid a tax levy of $18.07 million to support a $20.3 million budget.

The school district’s state aid will increase from $776,390 in 2021-22 to $910,267 for 2022-23.

In Cranbury, the school tax rate is expected to be 97.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The tax rate is a 2.3 cent increase from the 2021-22 school year.

The owner of average home assessed at $607,380 will pay about $5,946 in school taxes for 2022-23.

During the 2021-22 school year, the tax rate was 95.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of an average home assessed at $607,380 paid about $5,806 in school taxes that year.

The amount an individual pays in property taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

School taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill, which also includes municipal taxes and Middlesex County taxes.

The Cranbury School District budget covers items such as the Princeton High School tuition, K-8 regular education programs, employee benefits, operations, maintenance, security, special education and transportation.

On the appropriations portion of the budget, the school district’s appropriations include $4.86 million on Princeton High School tuition (district student enrollment at Princeton High School is projected to be 246 in 2022-23), $4.3 million on K-8 regular education programs, $2.8 million towards employee benefits, close to $1.5 million for special education, $1.4 million on administrative services, $1.39 million towards student support services, $1.35 million on operations, maintenance and security, and $1.18 million for transportation.

Outside of the total tax levy, the revenues side of the budget includes $910,267 in state aid, a $450,000 withdrawal from tuition reserve, $50,000 from the maintenance reserve, $130,407 from grants and entitlements, $127,082 in federal sources, $35,000 unrestricted miscellaneous revenues, and $15,000 from transportation fees from individuals, according to budget documents.

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