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Hazlet school board adopts $65M budget for 2022-23

HAZLET — The Hazlet Township Public Schools Board of Education has adopted a $65.64 million budget to fund the operation of the school district during the 2022-23 school year.

The budget was adopted during a meeting held May 2 at Raritan High School.

According to information provided by the board, the 2022-23 budget will be supported by the collection of a $45.25 million tax levy to be collected from residential and commercial property owners in Hazlet. Revenues from other sources will fund the remaining appropriations in the budget.

The school district will see a $1.26 million decrease in its state aid from $9.67 million in 2021-22 to $8.41 million in 2022-23 under the terms of a state school funding law known as S-2, according to information provided by the New Jersey Department of Education.

District administrators noted the following financial impacts in the 2022-23 budget: salaries will total $33.33 million (an increase of $996,000 from 2021-22); health benefits will total $8.36 million (a decrease of $827,000 from 2021-22); and transportation services are facing increasing costs due to a nationwide driver shortage and increased fuel costs.

The 2022-23 budget contains funding for buildings and grounds improvements at several schools in the district.

During the 2021-22 school year, the school tax rate in Hazlet was $1.695 per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $350,000 paid about $5,933 in school taxes.

During the 2022-23 school year, the school tax rate in Hazlet will decrease to $1.676 per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home that is still assessed at $350,000 will pay about $5,866 in school taxes.

However, if the assessed value of an individual’s home and/or property has increased from 2021 to 2022, that individual could pay more in taxes to a taxing entity (i.e., school district) even if the tax rate has decreased, as the school tax rate is doing in Hazlet this year.

School taxes are one component of a property owner’s total tax bill. The bill also includes taxes that are paid to Hazlet and to Monmouth County.

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 (i.e., municipality, school district, county).

During the 2022-23 school year, the board is planning to withdraw $5 million from the district’s capital reserve account to be used for the construction of a fieldhouse at Raritan High School, according to information the board provided in March when the budget was introduced.

According to a budget presentation, “District co-curricular and athletic programs will use the fieldhouse for indoor practice space during all seasons, as well as additional
community usage.”

The school district’s budget for the 2021-22 school year totals $61.27 million and is being supported through the collection of $44.41 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners in Hazlet.

The Hazlet Township Public Schools had an estimated enrollment of 2,685 students as of Oct. 15, 2021. The enrollment projection for Oct. 15, 2022 is 2,653 students, according to information posted on the school district’s website.

The district is comprised of the Sycamore Drive Early Childhood Learning Center, Raritan Valley Elementary School, Middle Road Elementary School, Lillian Drive Elementary School, Cove Road Elementary School, Beers Street Elementary School, Hazlet Middle School and Raritan High School.

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