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School District Passes Budget With 1.5 Percent Increase

After debt service, the average Ocean City resident will see an annual increase of $17.90.

Greg Young and sixth grader Tom Owens present the Ocean City School Board with a $5,000 donation for a new wrestling mat before the district approves its budget Wednesday night. The donation and budgetary funds allow the school to get a new mat.
Greg Young and sixth grader Tom Owens present the Ocean City School Board with a $5,000 donation for a new wrestling mat before the district approves its budget Wednesday night. The donation and budgetary funds allow the school to get a new mat.
The Ocean City School District Board of Education unanimously passed its $44.3 million budget that raises the tax levy for the first time in four years at its meeting at the high school Wednesday night.

For the last three years, the tax levy remained steady at $21,640,721. This year’s tax levy is $21,965,332, an increase of 1.5 percent. The tax rate increase is .2903, and the annual increase on the average Ocean City home assessed at $500,000 is $14.51.

An additional .3579 percent in debt service raises the annual increase to $17.90, with a monthly increase of $1.61.

Salaries and benefits for district employees make up 77 percent of the budget, Teachers receive annual increases of 1.99 percent.

The tax levy increase was to be higher before the school district received an extra $414,580 in state aid over last year’s number, for a total of $3,766,449. That allowed the general tax levy to be adjusted to 1.5 percent, before debt service. 

Part of the state aid included $5,000 for a new wrestling mat for the intermediate school. Earlier in the meeting, Greg Young presented a $5,000 donation to the district from the Ocean City Junior Wrestling Club for an additional $5,000. The district needed $10,000 for a new mat.

The district was also able to limit the tax levy increase because it entered into the School Choice Aid Program. The district will receive $2,682,050, up from last year’s $2,294,950. According to School District Business Administrator Pat Yacovelli, the absence of the funds from the program would mean the district would have to raise the tax levy all the way to the allowable 2 percent, but the district would still face a budget shortfall of $2,249,176.

The total General Fund is $40,908,874, with expenditures for capital projects totaling $2,385,607. That includes $1,756,667 for the Primary School Renovations Project.

In March, voters approved the school’s request for $2,497,421.47 to help fund school improvements in a special election. The district also has a grant for $2,399,279 to help fund the $6,653,368 in improvements.

The school district approved its budget nearly a week after city council unanimously passed a $69,861,684.60 budget that includes a 2.57 percent tax levy increase.

Details on the Cape May County budget can be found here.


Greg Young May 01, 2014 at 08:04 AM
Wrestler pictured is 6th grader Tom Oves. he wrestles for the Ocean City Jr. Raiders and the OCIS wrestling team. Not pictured is 1st grader Clifford Dirkes who was stuck behind the crowd in the hallway
Eleanor May 01, 2014 at 08:20 AM
So if the municipal budget has about a 2.6 increase and the school budget has a 1.5 increase than OC taxpayers will see more than a 4% increase in taxes. And 77% goes not to maintaining the schools, but to the salary and benefits that we fund to our public servants. I would like to know of the 5 people running for council and the 2 people running for mayor - what will you do to give us a tax REDUCTION?
OC4EVER May 01, 2014 at 10:22 PM
God forbid the teachers forego any union negotiated raises. Afterall it's all about the kids - right! I would be happy if they just kept their salery the same, but they wouldn't thnk of that. And don't forget, this week is teacher appreciation week. This is on top of their very high salary. My gift to them is their fulltime paycheck for a parttime job.
Tjr May 02, 2014 at 10:51 AM
Eleanor, the actual increase in taxes would be about 2.1 to 2.2% you do not add them together.

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