The Vernon Township School District Board of Education on April 28 approved the district’s budget for the 2022-23 school year.
The district’s $72,931,631 budget will carry a local tax levy of $44,737,965, which includes $44,144 of banked cap due to declining state aid. A 2 percent tax levy increase would have been brought the levy to $44,693,821, but the addition of banked cap brings the increase to 2.1 percent.
Banked cap is defined as money that is available when the district does not use the full 2 percent increase available to them. It remains available for the next three years toward the budgets in those years.
Interim Business Administrator Carolyn Joseph said the district was originally expecting a $2.3 million decrease in state aid, but the number came in at $1,723,707.
“We still had a reduction, but it wasn’t as much as we had originally been told it was,” she said.
The average Vernon Township home, averaged at $237,500 would have a tax bill of $3,762 in 2021-22, an increase of $101.95.
The budget also sets travel expenses that should not succeed $1,500 per employee or $27,000 for the district.
It also has over $3 million in projects from the district’s Capital Reserve Fund.
The window replacement at Glen Meadow School is estimated at $568,000, while a similar project at Vernon Township High School is estimated at $1,485,000. Replacing cracks in the high school tennis costs is expected to cost about $460,000, and the bridge and balcony repair at Glen Meadow is estimated at $500,000.
The district also will upgrade the acoustics in the Glen Meadow music room, which was formerly a shop room, for $184,413.
The budget passed by a 7-1 vote. School board member Justin Annunziata was absent. Board of Education member John Kraus voted against the budget due to concerns over the tax increase.
“I don’t think we need to raise taxes in this economy because this economy is crazy for people everywhere,” Kraus said. “People on fixed incomes I don’t think have an extra $100 in their pockets.”