Freehold Township school board adopts 2022-23 budget

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FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – The Freehold Township K-8 School District Board of Education has adopted an $86.5 million budget that will fund the operation of the district during the 2022-23 school year.

The budget, which was adopted on April 26, will be supported by a tax levy of $74.9 million to be paid by Freehold Township’s residential and commercial property owners. The school district’s state aid will increase from $4.76 million in 2021-22 to $5 million in 2022-23, an increase of $240,000.

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The school district’s 2021-22 budget totaled $85 million and was supported by a tax levy of $73.5 million.

From 2021-22 to 2022-23, total appropriations have increased by $1.5 million and the tax levy has increased by $1.4 million.

In 2021, the K-8 school tax rate was $1.0939 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Freehold Township was assessed at $426,190. The owner of a home that was assessed at the township average paid about $4,661 in K-8 school taxes (1.0939 x 4,261).

In 2022, the K-8 school tax rate is projected to decrease slightly to $1.0913 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Freehold Township is now estimated to be assessed at $494,212. The owner of a home that is assessed at the township average will pay about $5,393 in K-8 school taxes (1.0913 x 4,942).

If an individual’s home was assessed at $450,000 in 2021 and is still assessed at $450,000 in 2022, the K-8 school taxes would decrease slightly from $4,922 in 2021 to $4,919 in 2022.

K-8 school taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Freehold Township municipal taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, Monmouth County taxes and a fire district tax.

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

“This budget balances fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers and the maintenance of the outstanding educational program we provide to our students,” Superintendent of Schools Neil Dickstein previously said.

“With the implementation of Chapter 44, healthcare costs have increased for the district and I am concerned these costs will increase and continue to impact our budget in the future,” Dickstein said.

According to the New Jersey School Boards Association, “Chapter 44, which applies to boards of education participating in the School Employee Health Benefits Program, as well as non-participating districts, was passed with the goal of reducing costs for districts and employees by encouraging a shift to lower-cost insurance plans and re-establishing cost-sharing requirements.”

The Freehold Township School District consists of the Early Childhood Learning Center, the West Freehold, Laura Donovan, Joseph J. Catena, Marshall W. Errickson and C. Richard Applegate elementary schools, and the Barkalow and Eisenhower middle schools.

The district’s enrollment on Oct. 15, 2020 was 3,567 students. The district’s enrollment on Oct. 15, 2021 was 3,493 students. The district’s estimated enrollment for Oct. 15, 2022 is 3,432 students, according to a User Friendly Budget posted on the district’s website.

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