Residents in Interlaken will see an increase in their school taxes after the Board of Education approved school-age children attending West Long Branch schools and Shore Regional High School at a per-pupil cost.
Residents are expected to attend the board’s Aug. 19 meeting to express concerns.
In a recent letter to property owners, Mayor Michael Nohilly said that the Borough Council has worked hard to keep the municipal tax rate low over the years but that it has no control over the school tax rate.
“In 2011, we cut the taxes on the average home by $200, in 2012 we had no tax increase and in 2013, the municipal portion of the property tax bill increased by $8 for the average home,” he said.
Nohilly said that of $3,323,051 in 2013 property taxes, 55 percent is collected on behalf of the borough with the remaining 45 percent collected and paid to the school board and the county.
He said that in 2012 the amount raised by taxation for the school board was $416,787.
For 2013, that amount has increased to $737,345.00, roughly a 77 percent increase over 2012, which results in a school tax increase of about $800 for the average home.
Two of the items that comprise the majority of the $320,558 increase in taxation are a $149,000 increase for the tuition costs for special needs children and a $150,000 increase in tuition costs for additional students in the school system, he said.
“Most believe that the quality of life in our Borough in unmatched and our taxes continue to compare favorably with other municipalities having top services and educational options. We wanted to make sure that you had a detailed explanation for the changes in your taxes this year,” he said.
Interlaken parents recently had the choice to send their children to West Long Branch elementary schools from kindergarten through eighth grade and to Shore Regional High School for the ninth through 12th grades, with the borough paying about $10,000 tuition per student.
This per-pupil cost is now being reflected in the borough’s school tax rate.
The borough has a long-standing sending-district relationship with Asbury Park but few Interlaken children go to school there.