Dear WMTPS Community,
Last week an article was written questioning the transparency of the 2019-2020 budget presentation. I will try to clear up some misunderstandings.
- The budgeting process is a six-month long endeavor that begins in October and ends with the Public Hearing on the Budget, which was held this year on April 30.
- The tax levy increase in the 2019-2020 budget is 1.99%. This was presented on pages 6, 8, and 12 of the PowerPoint and, in addition, the budget was advertised on April 24 in The Herald News.
- On page 12 of the PowerPoint, the tax levy impact was detailed and discussed relative to the average assessed home. You will notice that the assessed home value decreased from $247,000 to $242,500. This information came directly from the West Milford Township Tax Assessor’s Office on February 1. This figure is calculated by the Tax Assessor’s Office and is never estimated by the School District. We simply use this figure to compute the tax levy impact on the average assessed home. Assessed home values change over time and this year it decreased by $4,500. Please also note that these figures are not the average sale price.
- The formula used is very simple. Assessed home value multiplied by the tax rate. In this instance one number increased (tax rate) and the other (assessed value) decreased leading to an overall reduction of $2.22 on the average assessed home. Rounded to three decimal places, the tax rate increased from 2.020 in 2018 to 2.057 in 2019. The impact of this increase affects each property differently based upon its assessed value.
If you would like to discuss in greater detail, please do not hesitate to contact my office for a meeting.
Alex Anemone, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools