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Howell K-8 school board introduces $123 million budget for 2019-20

HOWELL – The Howell K-8 School District Board of Education has introduced a tentative budget of $123.1 million to fund the operation of the school district during the 2019-20 school year.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 6. The board is expected to adopt the budget at that time. The tentative budget may be revised until the public hearing is held.

On March 20, board President Mark Bonjavanni, Vice President Albert Miller and board members Laurence Gurman, MaryRose Malley, Denise Lowe, Scott Jeffrey and Jennifer Okerson voted to submit the tentative budget to the Monmouth County executive superintendent of schools, which is part of the state Department of Education.

Board members Ira Thor and Cristy Mangano were absent from the meeting.

In 2018, the school district’s budget totaled $123.8 million and was supported by the collection of $78.2 million in taxes from Howell’s residential and commercial property owners.

The 2019-20 budget totals $123.1 million and will be supported by the collection of $79.9 million in taxes from Howell’s residential and commercial property owners.

District administrators said the K-8 tax rate is expected to drop from $1.132 per $100 of assessed valuation in 2018 to $1.101 per $100 in 2019.

The owner of a home assessed at $300,000 would pay $3,303 in K-8 school taxes in the upcoming year.

The owner of a home assessed at $400,000 would pay $4,404 in K-8 school taxes in the upcoming year.

The owner of a home assessed at $500,000 would pay $5,505 in K-8 school taxes in the upcoming year.

Howell K-8 school taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill, which also includes Howell municipal taxes, Monmouth County taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, a fire district tax and other assessments.

The amount of taxes a property owner pays is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property and the tax rate established by each taxing entity.

The Howell school district will see its state aid continue to decrease during the 2019-20 school year. After receiving $32.63 million in state aid for 2018-19, the school district will receive $30.98 million for 2019-20 – a decrease of $1.65 million.

The reduction in state aid began in 2018-19 and is expected to continue through the 2024-25 school year under the terms of legislation signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2018 which changed the way state aid is distributed among New Jersey’s school districts.

Miller said by 2024-25, Howell will have seen its state aid reduced by almost $13 million over seven years.

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