Marlboro school board introduces $94M budget for 2020-21


MARLBORO – The Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education has introduced a budget for the 2020-21 school year that totals $94.25 million.

The budget calls for a local tax levy of $77.65 million to be paid by Marlboro’s residential and commercial property owners. The taxpayers’ share of the budget revenue will be about 84.5%.

The budget was introduced on March 17 and a public hearing on the spending plan has been scheduled for the board’s April 28 meeting. The board may adopt the budget at that time.

On a motion to introduce the budget, board President Robyn Wolfe, Vice President Randy Heller and board members Tricia Branch, Robert Daniel, Vlad Goldfarb, Stephen Shifrinson, Jennifer Silacci and Susan Shrem voted “yes.”

Board member Kathleen Amster voted “no.” Amster could not be reached for comment regarding her vote.

The school district’s 2019-20 budget totaled $92.16 million and was supported by a tax levy of $77.9 million, so while overall spending will increase for the upcoming school year, the amount to be collected in taxes has decreased by about $300,000.

Business Administrator Vincent Caravello said the tax levy has decreased because the district no longer has to make a debt service payment.

The resolution which contains the budget information indicates there will not be a payment for debt service during the upcoming school year.

Marlboro’s state aid will be reduced by $850,000, from $10.6 million in 2019-20 to $9.75 million in 2020-21. Under the terms of a state law known as S-2 that was enacted in 2018, the district’s state aid will continue to be reduced each year through the 2024-25 school year.

Superintendent of Schools Eric Hibbs said if the budget is approved as introduced, there is a plan in place to keep the school district’s programs and initiatives the same, despite the reduction in state aid.

The 2020-21 budget will use $1.15 million from surplus funds (savings) and $835,393 from a budgeted fund balance as revenue. The budget includes an appropriation of $2 million from the maintenance reserve fund and an appropriation of $1.65 million from capital reserves for the district’s share of a $19.65 million Energy Savings Improvement Program.

Caravello said the number of staff members will remain stable, however, some employees will be relocated for the upcoming school year.

In 2019-20, Marlboro’s K-8 school tax rate was $1.082 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in the township was assessed at $494,605. The owner of that home paid about $5,351 in K-8 school taxes.

In 2020-21, Marlboro’s K-8 school tax rate is projected to decrease to $1.072 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in the township is assessed at $495,093. The owner of that home will pay about $5,306 in K-8 school taxes.

School taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Monmouth County taxes, Marlboro municipal taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and a fire district tax.

The amount an individual pays in property taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

The budget that was introduced by the board in March may be amended until the public hearing is conducted.

Caravello said the school district’s current enrollment is 4,768 students. The estimated enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is 4,919 students.