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Board of Education Confirms Taxpayer Refund

The Collingswood School District will levy the state-determined minimum amount from borough taxpayers in 2012/13. Households should get back $30-35 on average.

If tentative figures hold true, Collingswood taxpayers can expect a few dollars off their contributions to the $33.4 million budget for the 2012/13 school year.

“Right now the plan is going to come out to about $30 to $35 on average [refunded] per household,” said Superintendent Scott Oswald at the February 27 meeting of the .

Oswald an anticipated taxpayer refund last week, when the district discovered that it would receive an additional $32,000 in aid from the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE).

As proposed, $15.14 million of the overall general fund for 2012/13 will come from local contributions. After $1.28 million in debt servicing obligations, that reduces taxpayer contributions for the year to $13.85 million, the minimum local tax levy mandated by NJDOE, Oswald said.

“That’s what the state says the taxpayers of Collingswood should be able to sustain,” Oswald said, “and the Board is really committed to not collecting any more money than is necessary.

The remainder of the budget is subsidized by about $10 million in state aid, plus tuition paid by students from Oaklyn, Woodlynne, and special-needs students.

“We’re able to do a lot [to cut taxpayer costs] because of shared service agreements and administrative changes,” Oswald said.

At the same meeting, the Board also announced the findings of a recent, regularly scheduled NJDOE audit required by all districts that receive state aid. Oswald categorized these as “procedural in nature” and without financial implication.

He added that any issues identified in the report had been corrected prior to their announcement at the meeting.

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