Hammonton Board of Education President Sam Mento III announced a tax decrease of almost half a cent at the May 6 meeting of the board.
This tax decrease is fueled by the fiscal responsibility of the board, the state’s proper aid funding of the school district, grant dollars and of course, the strength of the local tax ratable base.
These factors have combined to help local taxpayers gain some relief, without coming at the expense of the school district’s students. In previous years, programs would be cut to reach budgetary goals, including a lower tax increase.
It should be noted that it is no small achievement to present a budget with a tax decrease in the current era. It is a testament to the strength of this community that during the economic downturn that has occurred during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, sound economic decisions were made at the school district. It was not a guarantee.
The tax decrease is some good news following months and months of difficult days for the school district and its students, and by association, the entire communities of Hammonton, Waterford Twp. and Folsom. While a slight tax decrease for Hammonton property owners from the school district does not counterbalance school closures, half-days, Zoom classes and canceled events, extracurricular activities and athletics, it is some good news.
It is hoped that in the wake of the nearly half-cent tax decrease, the school district builds on the momentum that is moving the students, staff, parents and community forward after feeling like we were all stuck in neutral for more than a year. We wish them good luck as the school year heads to a close, and the fall opening is eyed with hope for better days.