Hamilton property taxes could increase in 2012-13
Drop in aid, rising costs combine for rate hike
Sussex - Taxpayers in the Hamilton School District could see a tax increase next year if projections in the district's preliminary budget hold true.
The School Board discussed its preliminary budget for the 2012-13 school year at its meeting last week. The initial budget showed a $49 million budget - a 1.66-percent increase over this year's budget.
The School District also expects a nearly 2-percent drop in state aid. The loss of state aid likely means district taxpayers will bear a larger tax burden than the roughly $30 million tax levy district residents approved last year. The district projected a 2.78 percent tax increase, nudging the tax rate up to $10.41 per $1,000 of equalized property value. Last year's rate was $10.18 per $1,000. The projected tax rate means the owner of a home valued at $250,000 in the Hamilton School District would pay approximately $2,602.50 in support of the school district. That figure represents a $70 increase on a $250,000 home this school year.
When creating the initial budget, the school district officials assumed that district property values would remain the same and that enrollment would increase by 45 students. The numbers are based on projections. More students and higher property values would lead to a lower tax rate, while lower property values and lower enrollment could result in a tax rate increase.
According to meeting notes, schools and individual departments were asked to present budgets with zero-percent increases this year. Only the utilities budget and the costs for additions at Woodside and Marcy Elementary schools yielded increases. Marcy and Woodside are adding classroom space to their schools in building projects this summer.
The School Board will vote in May on the final budget that will be presented to district taxpayers at the June 18 annual meeting.
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