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Freehold Borough school board introduces $33M budget for 2020-21

FREEHOLD – The Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education has introduced a $33 million budget to fund the operation of the district during the 2020-21 school year.

Following a discussion among administrators and board members, the budget was introduced on March 16.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 4. The budget, which may be revised until that time, may be adopted by the board following the public hearing.

The $33 million budget will be supported by a tax levy of $10.8 million to be paid by the borough’s residential and commercial property owners. Other revenue includes $717,217 from the district’s surplus fund (savings).

In 2019-20, the school tax rate was 99 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. On a home assessed at $260,000, the K-8 school taxes totaled $2,574.

In 2020-21, the school tax tax rate is estimated to remain stable at 99 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. On a home that is still assessed at $260,000, the K-8 school taxes will remain $2,574.

Freehold Borough K-8 school taxes are one component of a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Monmouth County taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and Freehold Borough municipal taxes.

Individuals pay more or less in taxes depending on the assessed value of their home and/or property and the tax rate established by each taxing entity.

For the 2019-20 school year, the $30.9 million budget that was adopted by the board was supported by a local tax levy of $10.8 million and the receipt of $15.3 million in state aid.

For the 2020-21 school year, the local tax levy will remain $10.8 million to support a $33 million budget. The school district will receive $17.4 million in state aid, an increase of $2.1 million.

Freehold Borough’s state aid has increased each year since the enactment of state legislation known as S-2 in 2018.

“We are very pleased this year that Gov. (Phil) Murphy has increased our state aid to keep us on track to be fully funded by fiscal year 2025,” Superintendent of Schools Rocco Tomazic said following the introduction of the budget.

“Recovering more of the state aid that is due to us allows us to continue addressing the needs of our students and to continue the progress we have realized since the passage of the S-2 legislation in 2018. We look forward to the day when we are 100% funded with our proper aid amount,” he said.

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