Pascack Valley School Board Approves $48M Budget
Taxes will increase by varying amounts for Hillsdale, Montvale and River Vale residents.
The Pascack Valley Regional Board of Education approved the district's budget for the 2013-14 year during their meeting Thursday night.
The $48,452,517 budget includes a tax levy of $44,292,465, a 2 percent increase from this year, Business Administrator Yas Usami said. Because of the state law determining funding of regional districts, taxes in the four sending towns will be affected differently.
The average Hillsdale homeowner, with a property assessed at $549,000 before the revaluation or $469,400 now, will see a tax increase of $129, according to Usami. Average Montvale and River Vale homeowners will see increases of $67 and $41, respectively. The average Woodcliff Lake homeowner will see a decrease of $314.
The district will receive an additional $2 in state aid compared to this year, for a total of about $900,000. That amount is still only about half of what the district projected they would receive for the 2010-11 year, when the state cut all aid, Usami said. The net total will actually drop because of a $165,000 Schools Development Authority fee the district must pay. State and federal aid account for about 4 percent of the district's revenue, according to Usami.
The budget will allow the district to add one new faculty member and add more projects with existing staff, Usami said. Officials have projected that the district will have 34 more students next year than this year.
The budget also includes funds for several projects at the schools, including work on the girls' locker room and some windows at Pascack Valley High School, as well as some renovations to bathrooms and classrooms to be performed by district employees at a significantly lower cost, Usami said.
Board of Education President Bertram Siegel said district officials had been "stringent" while working on the budget.
"Real serious thought has gone into every aspect of it," Siegel said.
Usami noted that the district has used several shared services like insurance, bidding services and a new agreement with Hillsdale Schools for Internet service in order to save money wherever possible.