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How Do You Feel About Proposed $68.1 Million Budget for Matawan-Aberdeen School District?

The overall budget is a 7.7% increase from the year prior, however the tax levy will only increase by 1.5%.

If you have an opinion or questions on the approximately $68.1 million budget proposed for the 2013-14 academic year, the Board of Education's public hearing Thursday will be your only chance to speak up.

The March 21 hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Cambridge Park School on Crest Way in Aberdeen.

The Board of Education approved a tentative version of the budget at a March 4 special action meeting, and according to School Business Administrator Patrick DeGeorge, the Executive Superintendent of Monmouth County has since reviewed and approved the budget as-is.  

The $68,154,682 total budget includes a $64,745,927 operating budget, an increase of about $4.9 million from 2012-13, and $2,438,305 in debt service, a decrease of about $35 thousand. The overall budget is a 7.7 percent increase from the year prior.

Two of the largest actual increases, are anticipated in the areas of administration and capital outlay.

Administrative costs increased, DeGeorge explained, with the addition of a vice principal at Lloyd Road School and three district-wide administrators including Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Marc Natanagara, Director of K-12 Humanities Jessie Zitarosa and Director of K-12 Instruction and Evaluation John Bombardier.

Capital outlay increased by 436.9 percent because the Board of Education decided to use the remainder of the state aid they were awarded in 2011 to pursue several projects, including demolishing the old Cliffwood Elementary School and replacing a section of the roof at Matawan Regional High School, according to DeGeorge.

The budget calls for a $682,849 increase to the tax levy from the 2012-13 year for a total of $46,206,109 to be raised by taxes.

The tax rate is determined for each municipality with a formula that considers their respective assessed valuation of the entire municipality in conjunction with the total school taxes. According to DeGeorge, the total assessed valuation of each municipality decreased from 2012. When the assessed valuation of a municipality decreases, taxes increase as there is less wealth to spread around. 

Under the proposed budget, the school tax rate in Aberdeen would increase $0.036 to $1.598 per $100 of a property's assessed valuation. For example, a property assessed at $300,000 would be responsible for $4,794 in school taxes for the year. This would be an increase of $108 a year from the 2012-13 approved budget or an increase of $9 a month.

The school tax rate in Matawan would increase $0.009 to $1.472 per $100 of a property's assessed valuation. For example, a property assessed at $300,000 would be responsible for $4,416 in school taxes for the year. This would be an increase of $27 for the year from the 2012-13 approved budget or an increase of $2.25 a month. 

The public no longer has the opportunity to vote on the budget unless the increase to the tax levy exceeds two percent.

Read more about the proposed budget here.

Lady Cee March 20, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Enough is enough. If the average American has to live within their means, why shouldn't the school system? Between the gauranteed increases in salaries and the skyrocketing health and pension costs, it is no wonder Matawan cannot entice businesses to the town. I pay almost $8,000 in taxes a year for a 1,500 sq ft home whereas my brother pays $8,600 for a 3000 sq ft home in Lincroft. That is absurd. The excesses and abuse of our tax monies have to stop. I know first hand of the waste and abuse in the school system. No matter who we vote for the school costs always rise. Maybe we should rethink automatic pay increases, COLA for all retirees, health benefits for spouses who do not work for the school, buy backs of unused sick and vacation time, etc.
Brian March 21, 2013 at 12:42 AM
Always the Home owner who has to foot the bill. Why should the seniors and parentless have to pay the 65% burden of the Taxes. I spent my life in this cummunity and resent that this is my reward
Lady Cee March 21, 2013 at 01:30 AM
I went thru the Matawan school system. I have lived in and paid taxes here my whole life. I have no children yet I still have to pay exorbitant taxes. Personally I think that the tax rate should be lowered for those without children in the school system and those who have children in the system pay an additional per student fee. I have no problem paying a portion of the school tax but I should not have to pay as much as a family with 4-5 kids in the system. It will never happen but it is nice to dream.
Michael Vail March 21, 2013 at 12:33 PM
$4.9 million in new spending, representing a 7.7% increase from the prior year. No sequestration impact at the MARSD.
John Sims March 21, 2013 at 12:39 PM
There is absolutely no reason why there should be more than ONE school district per county as we see in other states most of which have higher student test scores. The over inflated bureaucracy in New Jersey is damaging the ability for taxpayers to live within their means. Over 500 administrative staffs in New Jersey is a crime and why should a New Jersey superintendent be paid more than the New York City superintendent who has over a million students versus a couple of thousand here. Nonsense.
Lady Cee March 21, 2013 at 02:02 PM
The nepotism of certain departments of the school district is disgusting. It is not what you know, it is who you know or are related to. The abuse of the system is rampant. Once you get tenured it is almost impossible to get fired unless your boss wants you gone.
Publicola March 21, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Is there anyone serving on the Board of Education that feels they have a responsibility to taxpayers? NJ has 9.5% unemployment. Super-Storm Sandy recovery expenses in the billions. The school board has ALMOST SIX MILLION DOLLARS in surplus and they still raise our taxes! I am disgusted.
Mary Mcdonough March 22, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Totally agree. Our income is down, the cost of EVERYTHING is up, and the burnt out teachers with "tenure" just keep getting more and more for doing less and less!
Mary Mcdonough March 22, 2013 at 12:43 AM
agreed. We are SOOO top-heavy. It's ridiculous to have superintendents and boards in every town!
Michael E. March 26, 2013 at 01:15 PM
Cut the transportation dept. it's filled with selective hiring, selective overtime. Nepotism? In my eyes yes. It's not what you know, it's who you know. Does anyone care?? This is the true definition of "insanity", doing the same thing over and over expecting different results!!
Way Over TAXED March 26, 2013 at 02:13 PM
The time has come to MERGE MATAWAN-ABERDEEN: CLOSE DOWN THESE UNNEEDED SCHOOL. The State needs to take over the Aberdeen - Matawan schools system and run them more cost efficient. COME ON!! 150,000.00 for a Prinicipal are you out of your OVER TAXED MINDS!!!!!!! Matawan and Aberdeen Municipalities MUST MERGE INTO ONE Municipal NOW MORE THAN EVER? The merger would definitely reduce the tax burden on the Matawan – Aberdeen tax paying residences. Other Municipalities in the state of New Jersey are merging... Why can’t Matawan-Aberdeen Merge? The Matawan – Aberdeen tax paying residences need to contact Governor Christie (609-292-6000) office and let the Governor know you support the merge of Matawan- Aberdeen into one Municipal. Call NOW or PAY MUCH HIGHER TAXES later.

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