As another tax season comes to a close, the last thing most of us want to hear about are more taxes. But that is just what Hanover Park's Board of Education meeting was all about. A large portion of the evening was dedicated to the review and approval of Hanover Park Regional's 2016-2017 Budget Report. It allocates over thirty-eight million dollars between the district's General Fund, Budget Service Fund and Special Revenue Fund. The lion's share of over thirty-four million will go into the General Fund, followed by just over three million heading into the collection of the Debt Service Fund.
This allotted budget for the 2016-2017 school year will levy a tax burden of over thirty-three million dollars on the taxpayers of East Hanover, Hanover and Florham Park. The breakdown of this tax structure has changed this year, with the brunt of the collection being pulled from Hanover Township. East Hanover Township will be paying $12,079,384 over the course of the year through six installments of just over two million dollars a pop. Hanover will be paying a slightly higher rate of $13,289,524 doled out in monthly installments of over one million dollars. If you live in Florham Park, a grand total of $8,153,419 will be paid out over seven installments of just north of one million dollars.
So how much will your taxes go up to balance this budget? Well if you live in East Hanover you are the lucky winners this year, actually paying a dollar less per hundred thousand than last year’s totals. Florham Park also comes out relatively unscathed with an increase of only four dollars. Hanover on the other hand will see an unwelcome increase of twenty-nine dollars per every hundred thousand. "Hanover Township, unfortunately, due to the shift in municipal allocation and the reduction in the gradeables is up twenty-nine dollars." said Hanover Park Regional Business Advisor William Albert Jr., "It’s just a matter of numbers. When you put together the budget...the Board of Education has very little control over everything that goes into it. We don't control student population. We don't control the municipal allocation. We don't control the value of the properties. The only thing we can control is the budget itself. How it breaks out, unfortunately, is based on gradables and municipal allocation. Those are the driving forces behind it."
At the end of the day, education taxes are an investment in the future. This district invests over $17,300 into each student every year. These funds give instruction to our children, livelihood for our teachers and administrators, and the ongoing hope that the next generation will shine brighter than our own.