Proposed budget raises Paterson school tax by 12 percent | Paterson Times Paterson Times

Proposed budget raises Paterson school tax by 12 percent

By Jayed Rahman
Published: March 18, 2021


Superintendent Eileen Shafer’s team has proposed raising the school tax on property owners by 12 percent in the 2021-22 academic year budget.

School levy is increased to $61 million, $6.5 million higher than the previous school year, according to information presented to the school board on Wednesday night.

Business administrator Richard Matthews said that’s still far below what homeowners should be contributing to fund schools. He said homeowners’ “fair share” of contribution is $111.7 million.

Matthews said the increase amounts to $12.90 per month for an average property assessed at $192,000.

Matthews said 84 percent of the district’s revenues come from the state. 11 percent from local property owners, 3 percent from the federal government, and 2 percent from other sources.

Matthews expects the state to provide $476.29 million in aid for the 2021-22 school year, up $29 million from the previous year.

The district’s entire budget is $568.21 million for the 2021-22 school year.

Shafer in December said the district had a $50 million budget shortfall. Matthews made no mention of cuts or how the gap was closed during his presentation.

Instead, Shafer is hiring more employees:

That amounts to $1.35 million in new spending.

Matthews said the facilities positions will result in savings of $410,000 because it will lead to a reduction in outside contracts for cleaning and other services.

“We’re able to cut back on some of the contracts that we have,” said Matthews. “It’s an increase, but we save money on non-salary.”

School board president Kenneth Simmons said a public hearing on the budget will take place in April and final adoption in May.

The district is expected to receive $159.51 million from president Joe Biden’s stimulus package. Shafer’s spokesman did not respond to an email asking what she intends to spend the funds on.

Email: [email protected]

Updated 11:47 a.m.

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