By Jennifer Ortiz
HOWELL —The Howell K-8 School District Board of Education has adopted a $117.72 million budget to fund the operation of the the district from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.
The budget will be supported by the collection of $76.62 million in taxes from Howell’s residential and commercial property owners. The district will receive $33.12 million in state aid during the upcoming school year, according to district administrators.
Administrators said the budget meets state guidelines in terms of the tax levy and therefore the spending plan is not subject to a vote by members of the public.
The school district’s 2015-16 budget totaled $114.9 million and was supported by the collection of $74.2 million in taxes from Howell’s property owners and the receipt of $33.1 million in state aid. The average home was assessed at $308,500 and the school tax rate was $1.19 per $100 of assessed valuation, meaning the owner of the “average” home paid $3,671 in K-8 school taxes.
For 2016-17, the average home is assessed at $318,000 and the school tax rate will be $1.184 per $100 of assessed valuation, which means the owner of the “average” home will pay $3,765 in K-8 school taxes – an increase of $94.
However, if a resident’s home was assessed at $308,500 for 2015-16 and is still assessed at $308,500 for 2016-17, his K-8 school tax bill will decrease from $3,671 to $3,652.
In addition to K-8 school taxes, a property owner in Howell also pays municipal taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, Monmouth County taxes, a fire district tax and other assessments.
Business Administrator Ron Sanasac said a multi-year program is used when planning the budget to forecast and provide stability in operational expenses. As such, he said part of the district’s maintenance reserve will allow for two roof replacements and the resurfacing of two parking lots to be completed this summer without an impact on the tax levy.
Sanasac said the district’s administrative cost per pupil is $1,768, which is below the state Department of Education standard of $1,990 per pupil. He said the 2016-17 budget maintains programs, provides for the full implementation of new curriculum, continues administrative efficiencies and accommodates state mandates.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph Isola said the budget for the upcoming school year provides what he needs to accomplish the mission of the school district.