Southern Regional School Board Approves 2018-19 Budget

May 09, 2018

As has been the case during the past few years, the Southern Regional School District’s budget was proposed to increase by less than 1 percent, leading the board of education on May 2 to unanimously approve the 2018-19 budget. Next year’s school budget maintains all programs and services as this year’s budget, according to District Business Administrator Steve Terhune.

“The tax levy is capped by the state of New Jersey, and it can only go up by 2 percent each year,” Terhune said during his public presentation of the previously adopted budget, which gained approval by the Ocean County Superintendent of Schools and the New Jersey Department of Education. “Our tax levy will be going up 0.9 percent, which is significantly under the limit the state has set for us.”

Terhune said the district’s general fund is expected to increase by $1.1 million, which includes a combination of increased state aid and tax levy, but overall the Southern budget for the next school year is right in line with how it’s been the previous five years – meaning only a slight increase, on average, to the operating budget, which utilizes more than $23 million for instruction expenses alone.

“We go back five years, and our budget has grown one-half of a percent, on average, throughout that five-year span,” he said. “Our goal is to be as efficient as possible and focus as much money on the classroom as possible, and that’s the goal we reached.”

Southern’s anticipated expenditures are $61,696,863, while the 2016-17 budget expenditures totaled $58,863,683. Of course, the effect to each town within the district regarding taxation varies. The tax rates are determined by the county and based mostly on the fluctuation of ratables within each town. In some towns, the rate has gone up since last year, while in others it has gone down, according to figures acquired from the county.

For Beach Haven, the 2018-19 tax rate will be 26.16 cents per $100 of assessed value, slightly down from this year’s 26.82-cent rate. For Barnegat Light, next year’s rate is 18.97 cents per $100 of assessed value, down from this year’s 20.31-cent rate. In Harvey Cedars, the rate has decreased from 23.64 cents to 22.86 cents per $100 of assessed value.

For Long Beach Township, the rate is down, from 26.31 cents to 24.29 cents, while Ship Bottom’s rate has increased from 23.94 cents to 25.49 cents, and Surf City’s rate has gone down from 26.53 cents to 25.37 cents. Within Stafford Township, next year’s rate is 24.99 cents, up slightly from this year’s 24.2-cent rate.

To see a user-friendly budget for the 2018-19 school year, visit

David Biggy

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