By Mark Abrams
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — Even though voters in three Gloucester County, NJ school districts have voted down the budgets adopted by their school boards, that’s no guarantee their taxes won’t go up.
On Tuesday, voters in the Monroe Township, Franklin Township, and Delsea Regional districts rejected school budgets in local elections.
Frank Belluscio, director of communications for the New Jersey School Boards Association, says that simply sends the budget process to another level.
“The municipality will consult with the school board and identify any areas where they feel there could be reductions,” he says. “And then, if it feels that reductions could be made, it will adjust the proposed tax levy.”
Or, Belluscio says, since the budgets don’t exceed the two percent state cap on tax increases, the municipalities could simply adopt them as proposed in advance of the state’s May 21st deadline.
And Belluscio says Gloucester County’s voters were in the minority:
“Among the 70 school districts that conducted elections, 90 percent of the budgets were approved — so that was 63 out of 70.”
He says those districts which didn’t have budget votes this time opted under a new state law to move their school elections to the fall and thus avoid separate budget balloting.