Freehold Borough school board introduces 2021-22 budget; tax levy drops

FREEHOLD – The Freehold Borough K-8 School District Board of Education has introduced a $38.7 million budget to fund the operation of the district during the 2021-22 academic year.

Following a discussion among administrators and board members, the budget was introduced on March 22.

A public hearing on the budget has been scheduled for May 3. The budget, which may be revised until that time, may be adopted by the board following the public hearing.

The $38.7 million budget will be supported by the collection of a tax levy of $10.7 million to be paid by the borough’s residential and commercial property owners. Other revenue includes $887,805 from the district’s surplus fund (savings).

In 2020-21, the school tax rate was 97 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. On a home assessed at $270,000, K-8 school taxes totaled $2,619 (.97 x 2,700).

In 2021-22, the school tax tax rate is estimated to decrease to 95 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. On a home that is still assessed at $270,000, K-8 school taxes will decrease to $2,565 (.95 x 2,700).

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 2020-21, the $33 million budget that was adopted by the board was supported by a local tax levy of $10.8 million and the receipt of $15.9 million in state aid.

For 2021-22, the local tax levy will decrease to $10.7 million to support the $38.7 million budget. The school district will receive $19.1 million in state aid, an increase of $3.18 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.

Freehold Borough was initially scheduled to receive $17.4 million in state aid for the 2020-21 school year, but that amount was revised to $15.9 million because of the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on New Jersey.

“We in Freehold Borough are very pleased the state has gotten back on track in its effort to bring all districts to 100% of required state aid,” Superintendent of Schools Rocco Tomazic said.

“This has allowed us to recover the positions lost last year and to continue to add additional support teachers for our at-risk students. We look forward to the day in three years time when we will be at 100% of our required state aid,” he said.