No tax increase
After more than a month of on and off deliberations, the Gloucester County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a $135 million budget for the next fiscal year that calls for no tax increase on county residents. The budget adoption took place Tuesday night in the colonial courthouse.
Many of the decisions on the budget were worked out during April 3 and 11 work sessions. It was the consensus of board members to keep the county’s real estate tax rate at its current rate of 65 cents per $100 of assessed value and to keep the rate at which boats are assessed the same as the current year.
Not raising the real estate tax rate by the original four cents as proposed or increasing the boat tax forced supervisors to implement $2.3 million in tough cuts when it came time to formally adopt the budget Tuesday night.
One of these cuts came in the overall increase of local transfer to Gloucester County Public Schools, which is reduced by $884,000, leaving the school system with a local transfer increase of only $261,840 over its current level. The school board had requested a local transfer increase of $1.8 million in its original budget proposal.
The school board had requested an additional $451,000 in local funding to pay for the county’s share of a 2 percent pay increase that was included in the governor’s budget, a prospect that now seems uncertain. Kiser said the $262,000 in the local transfer will also force the school system to cut 15 to 20 more positions, which he hopes can be accomplished through attrition.