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Marlboro school board adopts budget for 2021-22 academic year

MARLBORO – The Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education has adopted a budget for the 2021-22 school year that totals $93.38 million.

The budget calls for a local tax levy of $79.2 million to be paid by Marlboro’s residential and commercial property owners. The taxpayers’ share of the budget revenue will be about 84.5%.

During a meeting on May 4, board President Robyn Wolfe, Vice President Randy Heller and board members Tricia Branch, Stephen Shifrinson, Jennifer Silacci, Susan Shrem and Jill Strafaci voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget.

Board members Kathleen Amster and Robert Daniel voted “no”on the motion to adopt the budget.

In response to a request for a comment from the News Transcript, Amster said, “While I did support parts of the budget, I could not vote yes for a budget that was going to raise taxes for our community members. During these unprecedented times, every dollar counts.”

Daniel did not respond to a request for comment.

The Marlboro school district’s 2020-21 budget totaled $94.25 million and was supported by a tax levy of $77.65 million. From 2020-21 to 2021-22, total appropriations have decreased by $360,000 and the tax levy has increased by $1.55 million.

During the upcoming academic year, Marlboro’s state aid will be reduced by about $850,000, from $9.75 million in 2020-21 to $8.9 million in 2021-22.

Under the terms of a state law known as S-2 that was enacted in 2018, Marlboro’s state aid will continue to be reduced each year through 2024-25. Administrators estimate that by 2024-25, the school district’s state aid will be about $5.8 million.

The 2021-22 budget includes an appropriation of $1 million to repair roofs at the Defino Central Elementary School and the Frank J. Dugan Elementary School.

According to a budget presentation, about $2.1 million in capital improvements will include the following:

• Partial roof replacement at the Defino school and the Dugan school;

• Concrete and asphalt repair at all facilities with the exception of the Marlboro Middle School;

• Interior door replacement at the Dugan school;

• Re-pointing of brick work at the Marlboro Middle School;

• Repair of a drain basin and a fire lane at the Marlboro Memorial Middle School;

• Replacement of mini-gym lockers and gym padding at the Marlboro Middle School;

• Flooring replacement in the media center at the Asher Holmes Elementary School and flooring at the Defino school.

School district officials said the budget includes $1 million from the capital reserve fund for additional roofing work at the Dugan school.

Other highlighted budget spending includes the replacement of five 54-passenger buses and two 16-passenger vans with a 10-year extended warranty for each vehicle.

In 2020-21, Marlboro’s K-8 school tax rate was $1.072 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in the township was assessed at $495,093. The owner of that home paid about $5,306 in K-8 school taxes (1.072 x 4,950).

In 2021-22, Marlboro’s K-8 school tax rate is projected to be $1.088 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in the township is now assessed at $494,783. The owner of that home will pay about $5,382 in K-8 school taxes (1.088 x 4,947).

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 total 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.

Business Administrator Vincent Caravello said the school district’s current enrollment is 4,597 pupils. Enrollment is projected to decrease to 4,499 students in September.

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