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HOLMDEL – The new school district budget — with a $1 million spending increase — will hike the average tax bill by $170 per year, according to district officials.
Township residents will see no municipal tax increase under the municipal budget proposed last week.
The Township Committee introduced the new $25.1 million spending plan at its May 26 meeting, up from $24.4 million in the current budget.
Holmdel Interim CFO William Antonides said the tax rate remains the same due to reductions in health care costs and the tax revenue boost from Bell Works’ expansion.
“The rate is staying the same as last year, 34 cents per $100 in assessed value,” he said. “The average house will pay $2,335 in municipal taxes.”
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He said some revenues are down, such as court fees and other taxes because of the coronavirus impact on local businesses and government services.
“We took the approach to be conservative with the budget and if things improve it could only improve our financial position with the town,” said Mayor Greg Buontempo, who stressed that no township employee layoffs or cutbacks are planned. “We’ve incurred additional costs for the safety or our employees and the safety of our residents, that was a new factor that came into place.”
The public hearing on the municipal budget is set for June 23.
Taxpayers will see an increase in the school district tax, which represents the largest piece of the tax bill, according to the district budget presented on April 29.
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It includes a proposed $59.6 million budget for the 2020-2021 school year, up from the current $58.5 million spending plan. It will mean a $170.65 average tax increase on a home assessed at $687,244.
The school district budget was approved unanimously by the board after the public hearing on May 6.
At that meeting, School District Business Administrator Michael Petrizzo said “it’s all a balancing act.”
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School Board President Vicky Flynn also cited the uncertainty of the future as relates to the coronavirus and planning for fall classes: “Everyone’s very nervous about what’s to come.”
Joe Strupp is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience who covers education and Monmouth County for APP.com and the Asbury Park Press. He is also the author of two books, including Killing Journalism on the state of the news media, and an adjunct media professor at Rutgers University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and at 732-413-3840. Follow him on Twitter at @joestrupp
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