BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The board of education officially introduced its 2015-2016 budget March 10, with tax rates slightly reduced in both Bridgewater and Raritan.

The total budget is set at $144,591,253, a 1.07 percent increase over the 2014-2015 budget.

As for the tax rate, in Bridgewater, for a home with an average assessment of $419,654, the school tax rate is set at 1.395, translating to $5,854.34. This is a decrease of $17.06 per $100,000 of home assessment.

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In Raritan, for an average home assessment of $319,676, the school tax rate is set at 1.218, translating to $3,894.68. This is a decrease of $40.54 per $100,000 of home assessment.

The overall tax levy for the district has increased 2 percent, from $124,875,621 in the 2014-2015 budget to $127,373,133 for the upcoming year. The cap for increasing the tax levy is mandated by the state to not go over 2 percent.

The district has also received its state aid numbers for the year, and is set to receive a total of $9,326,435, a 0.2 percent increase over the 2014-2015 state aid received.

The budget includes $1.074 million in facilities projects, with $250,000 to be included in the general budget for the planning, preparation and installation of bathrooms at two schools, Adamsville Primary and Bradley Gardens Primary.

The remaining funds are coming from capital reserve funds, and will include several projects at the Bridgewater-Raritan High School. They are track replacement, partial gym bleacher replacement, building 700 carpet replacement, painting of the auditorium and refinishing of the gym floor.

Paving projects are also planned for Eisenhower Intermediate, the transportation lot, BRHS student lot, Van Holten Primary, Hamilton Primary and Bradley Gardens.

The district will now be submitting the budget to the county office for approval, with public hearing and budget approval scheduled for April 28.