Spending down, taxes up

By AUBRIE GEORGE | The Moorestown Sun

Residents living in the average assessed home of $537,100 would pay $116 more in school taxes if voters approve Moorestown school district’s 2009–10 budget.

The Board of Education met last week to approve the final 2009–10 school budget and send it to the polls for the April 21 election.

School officials said the budget they have put forth attempts to balance the need to preserve quality educational programming with the need to keep the tax rate down.

“Our conservative approach to stewardship is designed to preserve core school programs without passing excessive costs on to the taxpayer,” Superintendent John Bach said.

The $68.8 million total spending plan represents a $153,192 decrease over last year’s budget.

The amount to be raised by local taxes to support the budget is about $58 million, which is a less than 1 percent increase over last year.

School officials said this is the lowest percentage increase the district has seen in more than 25 years.

Due, in part, to the township’s loss of about $49 million in tax ratable properties this year, taxpayers will see the school tax rate increase 2.2 cents, or 1.79 percent, to $1.236.

This year’s proposed numbers mean that homeowners in the average assessed home of $537,000 will pay approximately $116 more in school taxes in the 2009–2010 budget year, or $9.71 per month.

The average school tax bill is estimated to be about $6,637, school officials said.

See this week’s print edition of The Sun for the full story.