While across town Mendham Township introduced a $2 increase in taxes to their voters hoping for their approval, on Feb. 28 the Mendham Borough Board of Education introduced a 1% increase to the 2012-2013 budget that would cost the average homeowner an additional $83.72 in taxes, and taxpayers have no say in it.
As one of the districts in the region to move their elections to November Mendham Borough will forgo budget referendum as long as the budgets fall within the state’s 2 percent cap.
This increase would not include town, county or regional costs.
The actual tax rate has not been released yet, but the estimated figures would put the average home valued at $700,000 to take on an additional $83.72 in taxes for the 2012-2013 school year.
Those numbers, according to school officials, show that a drop in the ratable base accounts for much of the increase. The ratable base, or total value of the properties in the borough, dropped in 2011. That drop leaves a shortage in funds of about $59.50 per household to cover. The remaining $24.22 of the increase can be traced to the 1% bump in the tax levy.
The additional monies collected are budgeted for additional staffing, maintenance improvements and extracurricular activities.
In the budget for 2012-2013 are HVAC and lighting improvements, but also the restoration of a full-time music teacher and full-time guidance counselor. Both positions were reduced to four days a week in previous budgets. A member of the child study team will also be hired who will function as a learning disabilities consultant.
School board representatives said the budget will still require participants to pay $65 for sports and $25 for clubs, but that the all of the extra-curricular activities are funded.
The tentative budget is $10,462,715 and the tax levy in the budget plan is $8,890,779.
The budget is now with the Morris County Superintendent of Schools for approval and then is returned for a public hearing and final vote by the board on Tuesday, March 27.