HOWELL – The Howell K-8 School District Board of Education has adopted a $123.8 million budget that will pay for the operation of the district from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.
Board members voted 9-0 to adopt the budget on May 2. The spending plan will be supported in part by the collection of $78.2 million in taxes from Howell’s residential and commercial property owners.
In 2017, the average home in Howell was assessed at $332,500 and the K-8 school tax rate was $1.164 per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of that home paid $3,870 in K-8 school taxes, according to district administrators.
In 2018, the average home is assessed at $342,472 and the school tax rate will be $1.132 per $100. The owner of that home will pay $3,876 in school taxes, an increase of $6, according to district administrators.
If an individual’s home was assessed at $350,000 in 2017 and is still assessed at $350,000 in 2018, his K-8 school tax will decrease $112, from $4,074 to $3,962.
Not all property owners pay the same amount in school taxes. Property owners pay taxes based in part on the assessed value of their home and property. In addition to school taxes, property owners also pay Howell municipal taxes, Monmouth County taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, a fire district tax and other assessments.
According to the budget, the district anticipates receiving $34.1 million in state aid during the 2018-19 school year. The state Legislature has until June 30 to finalize a budget for 2018 and confirm the state aid numbers, according to Ronald Sanasac, the assistant superintendent for business administration/board secretary.
During a presentation of the budget, Sanasac explained the board’s priorities, successes and accomplishments with the budget. Priorities include continued support to enhance student achievement, to reduce and control operational and discretionary costs, enhance revenue production and minimize the tax impact.
He said every employee in the school district is “in the same game together and it is about student achievement.”
Accomplishments listed in the presentation include the Future Ready silver certifications, curriculum demands, technology updates, the maintenance of facilities, tax stability, an updated fleet, expanded personalized learning and enhanced digital utilization.
“This 2018-19 budget provides the resources to get the silver certifications (for the district’s Future Ready status), meet the curriculum demands Bruce Preston (the assistant superintendent for curriculum and personnel) wrestles with every day to make sure we are on top of our game there. (To) continue to have our technology state of the art and the best … I hold (our technology) up against anybody, not that we want to compare ourselves to our fellow partners, but we are the lead,” Sanasac said.
“We cannot lose sight of the business we do. We provide more services to more citizens in Howell than any other institution in the township. We serve more meals than all the restaurants in Howell combined on a daily basis. We transport roughly 6,000 students to and from school on a daily basis,” he said.
Sanasac said, “We are the largest employer in Howell, we employ more residents and we employ more total personnel. We are the backbone of this community and the community is better because of it.”
No residents spoke during the public hearing on the 2018-19 budget.