Toms River Regional Schools will hold a budget presentation March 28 to outline a $204.362 million operating budget, with a possible tax rate of $0.7785 per $100 on Toms River property owners.
That night, the school board will hear comments from the public before voting on the budget, in a meeting at at 7:30 p.m.
The anticipated total operating budget for Toms River Regional is up $4 million over 2011-2012, climbing to $204.362 million.
Taxes could climb in Toms River, although state aid increased. The district budgeted more for instruction, but officials said the spending plan is still more than $1 million under the state 2-percent budget cap, and is much less than the state Department of Education suggests it spend for a district of its size.
Revenue: taxes, state aid, tuition
The $0.7785 tax rate would be for Toms River residents, as separate tax rates are paid by the other towns that make up the Toms River regional district: South Toms River, Pine Beach and Beachwood.
The tax rate for Toms River residents could grow 3.96 cents to $0.7785 per $100, up from $0.7389 per $100.
In Toms River, where the 2011 average home assessment is at $376,778, the proposed school tax could amount to a $149 increase to a $2,933 annual tax payment.
The total anticipated tax levy revenue for Toms River Regional Schools would be $132.719 million, up $1.6 million from last year.
Funding the growing budget is a larger tax levy, more tuition dollars, and higher state aid over 2011-12.
State aid is up: There is $67.278 million proposed, which is $2.9 million more in state aid.
The district also expects $916,176 in tuition dollars from its sending-receiving agreements, which is $23,000 more.
Instruction expenses increasing
District officials said this year's budget maintains existing levels of programs and staffing.
However, the number of students expected for 2012-13 is up, growing by 46 to 17,032 pupils in Toms River Regional.
The cost of regular instruction is increasing by $2 million to $63,662,589. Special education expenses would total $15,383,891, up $900,000.
Basic skills and remedial education costs will grow by $171,000 to a total $1.213 million. Bilingual education will cost $20,000 more, at $430,500.
Toms River Regional Schools Business Administrator Bill Doering said the district is more than $1 million under the 2 percent property .
Savings are also expected from the installation this last year of on the roofs of 11 schools in the district, netting $100,000 in electrical savings this year, Doering said.
The school district has posted its “user-friendly budget” document online.