South Brunswick taxpayers may see slight decrease in school taxes despite challenges to revenue

SOUTH BRUNSWICK – Some taxpayers in South Brunswick are expected to see a slight decrease in their school taxes for 2022-23 despite a reduction in state aid and rising costs associated with operations and services.

The South Brunswick School District is set to lose state aid for the 2022-23 school year, according to the S-2 funding formula Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law in 2018. South Brunswick has seen its state aid reduced on an annual basis since that time.

Murphy announced state aid numbers for the 2022-23 academic year on March 10. During a Board of Education meeting that night, Superintendent of Schools Scott Feder announced the district will receive $19.74 million for 2022-23, which is a decrease of $1.74 million from what South Brunswick received for 2021-22.

For the 2022-23 school year, the school district’s $145 million budget will be supported by a $119 million tax levy.

Feder said because of an increase in ratables in South Brunswick, the owner of a home that is assessed at the township average of about $200,000 will see a decrease of 22 cents per month ($2.60 for the year) in school taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $300,000 will see a decrease of 32 cents per month ($3.90 for the year) in school taxes.

“We keep our programming and our kids at the forefront of our decisions,” Feder said.

Noting 8% inflation and rising gas prices – the superintendent said typically the gasoline bill is $23,000 per month, yet the district recently received a bill for $24,000 for the first 10 days of the month – plus salaries and daily operations, the district has to balance expenses with revenues such as grants, tuition and extraordinary aid.

Feder said administrators look for ways to review efficiencies, analyze transportation and seek a bus lease-purchase program.

“This really is the last time we can handle this,” he said, challenging the state funding formula and its effect on South Brunswick.

However, Feder reiterated that the budget does not take away anything from students.

There was no public comment on the budget during the April 28 board meeting.

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