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Long Branch School Budget Adopted

Taxes will raise slightly as a result of budget

Long Branch School Budget Adopted Long Branch School Budget Adopted

The Long Branch School District budget was adopted by the Long Branch Board of Education (BOE) on Thursday night.

The 2013-14 budget totals $90,767,318 a $728 decrease from the current budget. Of that total, $33,391,044 will be raised by the local tax levy, a $1,204,488 increase from last year.

The board was allowed to vote on and approve the budget without a public vote, because the total tax levy increase is below the state-mandated tax levy cap. Governor Chris Christie passed legislation last year that allows schools to do so.

A Long Branch resident who owns a home valued at $475,000 would see a tax increase of about $70 next year.

"We want to provide a high quality education to the children of Long Branch," Long Branch School District Superintendent Michael Salvatore said. "We also understand we can't be a burden to the taxpayers."

Salvatore said the district has "more students than ever before," which creates additional costs such as a need for more transportation.

He said health benefits for the district's employees have "skyrocketed" in recent years and represent about a $2 million increase in the 2013-14 budget.

However, Salvatore said 18 employees have recently retired from the district, which helped cut some costs. He said utility costs are also decreasing and that the summer camp program will be "modified" to lower its nearly $1 million cost.

Revenue is down for the 2013-14 school budget because of lower federal aid, solar energy credits and a lower budgeted fund balance.

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