Pitman Faces $1.6 Million Budget Cut, Tax Burden Concerns

The Pitman Borough Council meeting brought to light budgetary challenges facing the community, with a focus on the impact of state funding formulas on local tax burdens and school district finances. A substantial part of the discussion centered on a projected loss of $1.6 million in the upcoming budget year, a figure that includes the absence of a one-time $900,000 state grant received in the previous year. The council highlighted concerns over an increased municipal tax burden calculated by the state, which could lead to a decrease in equalization aid from the state to the district.

The state aid summary for the school district was scrutinized, revealing an 11% increase in the municipal tax burden as determined by the state’s funding formula. This increase is based on an assessment that property values in Pitman have risen by over 40% between fiscal years 23 to 25, alongside a reported 11.4% increase in district income. Criticism was leveled at the state’s method for calculating the local fair share, which determines the amount of municipal tax revenue expected and subsequently the equalization aid provided by the state. The argument made was that these calculations unfairly inflate Pitman’s tax burden, which in turn allows the state to reduce aid. This has resulted in a cumulative loss of over $5 million in increased municipal tax burden and a corresponding $7 million reduction in equalization aid over recent years.

During the meeting, the council discussed the need to advocate for changes in the state’s funding formula, describing the current situation as an “unfair equation” and not in line with the intent of the School Funding Reform Act. Efforts to address these concerns include reaching out to legislative committees, government relations representatives, and the possibility of providing testimony at upcoming public hearings on March 11th and 19th.

In addition to financial discussions, the meeting touched on preliminary talks regarding referendum projects and the budget necessary to undertake them. It was noted that the council would need to balance desired projects with available funds, potentially leading to cuts in order to stay within the budget.

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Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Michael L. Razze, Jr.
City Council Officials:
Adam Mazzola, Paul Blass, Matthew Weng, Amy Rudley, John Fitzpatrick, Vanessa James, Judith O’Donnell (Administrator)

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