MILLSTONE – The Millstone Township K-8 School District Board of Education has introduced a $39.9 million budget that will fund the operation of the district during the 2020-21 school year.
Following a discussion among district administrators and board members, the budget was introduced on March 9. A public hearing is scheduled for April 27. The budget, which may be revised until that time, may be adopted by the board following the public hearing.
The $39.9 million budget will be supported by a tax levy of $32.7 million to be paid by Millstone Township’s residential and commercial property owners. Other revenue includes $1.12 million from the district’s surplus fund (savings).
The 2019-20 budget had a school tax rate of $1.722 per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $500,000 paid about $8,610 in school taxes.
For 2020-21, the school tax rate will increase to $1.744 per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $500,000 will pay about $8,720 in school taxes.
School taxes are one component of a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Monmouth County taxes, Millstone Township municipal taxes and other assessments. An individual pays more or less in taxes depending on the assessed value of his home and/or property and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.
In 2019, the $39.6 million budget adopted by the board for the 2019-20 school year was supported by a tax levy of $32.2 million and the receipt of $4.46 million in state aid.
For the 2020-21 school year, Millstone will receive $4.06 million in state aid, a decrease of $395,497.
The school district’s state aid has decreased each year since the enactment of state legislation known as S-2 in 2018. Millstone is projected to lose a total of $2.1 million in state aid under S-2 through 2024-25, according to district administrators.
After the budget was introduced, Superintendent of Schools Christopher Huss said, “While preparing the budget is always a very involved process, this year was once again especially challenging.
“For the third year in a row, we suffered a significant loss of state aid while expenses such as building operations, special education services, health care coverage and out-of-district tuition continue to rise. The funding formula created by the state appears to ignore these factors, among many others, while over-relying on enrollment data and undisclosed multipliers.