Palmyra Board of Education to vote on budget with a 2 percent tax increase

Residents with an average assessed home of $147,599 will see a $50 increase

The Palmyra Board of Education is set to vote on a 2018–2019 budget that will impose a 2 percent tax increase on residents.

Homeowners with an average assessed property of $147,599 will pay $50.64 more in school taxes under the proposed budget.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the budget’s adoption at a 7 p.m. meeting Wednesday, May 9, at the Charles Street School.

Superintendent Brian McBride and Business Administrator William Blatchley presented the proposal to the Board and public during a special budget meeting May 2.

Blatchley said the proposed tax increase is in line with projections the district made several years ago. He credited the Board and school faculty with sticking to the district’s funding plan.

“Everybody inside the walls is with the program these days,” Blatchley said. “Everybody understands that if they come to us with something new or they need to come and ask for something they didn’t anticipate, they’ve got to find a way to offset those numbers the best they can.”

The total proposed budget is $18.6 million, which equates to a cost of $15,623 per student, according to the budget presentation.

State aid to the district is set to increase by $282,021 to about $5 million thanks to Gov. Murphy’s proposed budget. The governor’s plan increases state funding to districts in Burlington County by more than $9 million.

“As everybody knows, state aid has been flat for a long time, so any increase is a big increase,” Blatchley said.

Local taxpayers will still fund a majority of the district’s budget, contributing just over $10 million, according to the proposed budget.

McBride said the budget plan maintains all currently funded programs within the district. It also includes funding for the purchase of 100 laptop computers and the replacement of 80 laptops, he said.

“We’re getting very, very close to a one-to-one (ratio of students to computers) initiative,” McBride said. “That’s where we are in today’s world.”

The proposed budget also includes new lab kits, new textbooks, technology upgrades and 50 additional lockers at Palmyra High School, according to the presentation.

There were no comments from members of the public during the discussion portion of the budget meeting.