Just 20 districts will use additional school aid to reduce taxes this year

Just 20 of the nearly 600 school districts that received additional state aid plan to use the money for tax relief in the current fiscal year, according to the Department of Community Affairs.

The districts were required to notify the DCA Tuesday if they planned to use the additional aid included in the budget for tax relief.  Last week, Acting Commissioner of Education Christopher Cerf sent a memo to district superintendents urging them to use the money for tax relief.

“The additional State aid included in this year’s budget provides your district with a unique opportunity to reduce property tax burdens by lowering your local property tax levies for this fiscal year or the next,” Cerf’s memo read. “Using this aid to lower taxes is an important step towards new and effective management of our schools that focuses on improved student achievement, rather than increased spending. I urge you to join our reform initiative by applying these newly-allocated funds to alleviate your district’s taxes this fiscal year.”

The 20 districts cover a total of 27 municipalities in 16 counties.

The $150 million was kept in the budget by Gov. Chris Christie after Democrats had boosted education aid by more than $500 million.  The additional aid is essentially found money for the districts, which had already prepared their budgets and struck their tax rates.

Districts still have the option of squirreling the money away until next fiscal year, or increasing their FY12 spending by the amount of the additional aid.  If they choose to increase their budget, the district must seek approval from the Executive County Superintendent.

A spokesman for the governor, who echoed the call to use the money for tax relief, had no comment.

Municipality

County

Levy_reduction

Lyndhurst Township

Bergen

      318,596.00

Palisades Park Borough

Bergen

      143,672.00

River Edge Borough

Bergen

      141,385.00

Moorestown Township

Burlington

      617,070.00

Lindenwold Borough

Camden

      352,154.00

Bridgeton City

Cumberland

        72,743.00

Glen Ridge Borough

Essex

      268,047.00

Washington Township

Gloucester

  1,294,296.00

Hampton Borough

Hunterdon

        26,198.00

East Brunswick Township

Middlesex

      652,600.00

Manasquan Borough

Monmouth

      227,823.00

Spring Lake Heights Borough

Monmouth

        73,271.00

Butler Borough

Morris

        43,792.00

Chester Borough

Morris

          5,707.69

Chester Township

Morris

        42,928.03

Mendham Borough

Morris

        27,014.00

Mendham Township

Morris

        41,568.29

Washington Township

Morris

        67,072.00

Brick Township

Ocean

  1,360,532.00

Lavallette Borough

Ocean

        35,112.00

Pilesgrove Township

Salem

      114,843.58

Woodstown Borough

Salem

        69,751.42

Bridgewater Township

Somerset

      529,422.54

Raritan Borough

Somerset

        70,577.46

Warren Township

Somerset

      387,320.00

Branchville Borough

Sussex

          7,174.00

Frankford Township

Sussex

        42,826.00

 

Editors note: An earlier version of this story gave the number of districts using the addiitonal aid for tax relief as 30.  The number is actually 20.  The error was the result of incorrect information from the state.

Just 20 districts will use additional school aid to reduce taxes this year