Freehold Borough gains state aid, school board adopts budget for 2020-21


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

The budget that was adopted on May 4 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 appropriated from the district’s surplus fund (savings).

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

In 2020-21, the school tax rate is estimated to remain 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 that is 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 from the current academic year.

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

During the 2017-18 school year – prior to the enactment of S-2 – the district’s state aid was $10.8 million. Since S-2 was enacted, the district has seen an increase in its state aid of $6.6 million in three years.

At the same time the district has seen an increase in its state aid, the amount of taxes being collected from Freehold Borough’s property owners has decreased by $790,000 from $11.59 million in 2017-18 to $10.8 million in 2020-21.

The school district’s total budget in 2017-18 was $27.39 million; meaning total spending is up $5.6 million in three years.

“Freehold Borough has passed its 2020-21 budget based on the premise we will receive the amount of state aid assigned by the governor following his (February) budget address,” Superintendent of Schools Rocco Tomazic said. “We applaud his commitment to move underfunded districts toward full state aid funding as outlined in the S-2 law.”

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