Monthly Archives: August 2015

Manasquan Referendum: Taxation without Represention for SLH?

On September 29, Manasquan voters go to the polls and their vote may increase taxes in Spring Lake Heights. The referendum vote decides if the Manasquan School District will go forward with a proposed $24.4 million dollar renovation and expansion of school facilities.

The $24.4 million dollar bond would provide $4.7 million in upgrades to the Manasquan Elementary School, including $500,000 for a new heating, cooling, and ventilation system.

The remaining $19.7 million dollars would be allotted to Manasquan High School and includes the development of a 2,000-seat sports stadium, artificial turf field hockey and lacrosse fields, multi-purpose turf fields for field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and football, new scoreboards, new high jump, shot put, and pole vault areas, a cross-country track, an all-weather practice track, an additional tennis court, new dugouts, new fencing, and other additions and upgrades.

While the State would pay for approximately $5 million of the total cost of the project, $19 million will be funded by taxpayers, with the largest burden on Manasquan residents. Manasquan High School’s sending district towns – Avon, Brielle, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Lake Como, and Belmar – are required to pay 70% of the interest on the debt service for the high school’s portion of the project, or about $5.5 million dollars.

For Spring Lake Heights taxpayers, this would translate into an estimated $242 to $335 dollars per year, per household in additional taxes. Given the large portion of the Spring Lake Heights’ population that are senior citizens or others on a fixed income, this increase could present a sizeable burden.

And the burden may increase even more. The Manasquan Board of Education has now reached out to the sending district Boards of Education to negotiate not just a payment on interest, but a larger payment into the principle amount of the bond issue. If agreed to, this means that taxpayers in the sending district towns will be paying tax on property owned by another municipality.

Spring Lake Heights residents and residents of the other sending district towns are NOT permitted to vote in the September 29 referendum. However, they may attend the SLH Board of Education meeting at the elementary school, Monday, August 24, at 7 PM, to voice any concerns or opinions.