Howell residents facing school tax increase

Last year I submitted a letter to the editor expressing my concern that Howell K-8 School District officials would raise our taxes by as much as $4.8 million by using all of their “banked cap” (unraised taxation for two years of flat budgets).

Well, they did not do it then, so I was wrong. Well, not entirely. I was just off by a year and $1 million. Now, Board of Education Finance Chairman John Van Noy, who, ironically, ran on a “taxpayers first” platform three years ago, has proposed a budget that, in total, would increase property tax revenues for 2014-15 by about $3.8 million by raising taxes the full $2.5 million allowed this year, plus $1.25 million from the “banked cap.” What was then a possibility is now a reality. That is what happens when elected officials are given power by their community and the use of that gift is not routinely monitored by us.

So what will we have this year? A “fool me twice, shame on me” moment or an awakening to the need to get involved and stay involved? My biggest fear is that we will continue with the former and bankroll our schools out of our ability to raise our children or maintain our homes here in Howell.

The opinions expressed here are my own personal opinions and are not expressed in my role as a board member to the Freehold Regional High School District.

Amy M. Fankhauser