BELMAR, NJ — Belmar property owners will see their school taxes rise by 2.2 percent under the school district’s 2020-2021 budget approved on April 30 by the Board of Education.

The nearly $14.2 million spending plan includes a $9 million tax levy — a nearly $195,000 hike over the previous year. That translates into a nearly $52 annual increase in school taxes for individuals with homes valued at the Belmar average of $570,000.

For a copy of the detailed budget presentation prepared by School Business Administrator Michael Bardsley, click here.

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Here’s a snapshot of the 2020-2021 budget:

  • The total 2020-2021 spending plan is $129,725 higher than the 2019-2020 budget — or 0.9 percent.
  • The district had a nearly $40,000 decline in state aid, which will fall from $983,579 to $944,076.
  • Some $8.2 million — an increase of $360,000 over the previous year — will go toward tuition and transportation to send Belmar students to high schools in its sending district, including the Monmouth County Vocational School District, as well as for special education placement. Those costs account for 58 percent of the district’s total expenditures.
  • While the $9 million tax levy represents 64 percent of all district revenues, another 14 percent is derived from some $2 million in tuition — the bulk of which is paid by Lake Como and must be approved by its board of education.
  • Tuition rates per student for those attending BES is as follows: $15,111 for kindergarten; $17,855 for grades 1-5; $15,884 for grades 6-8; and $20,479 for learning disabled (self-contained).
  • The district has decreased plant operations by $37,953 — a 5.04 percent decrease — by bringing its custodial staff in house and tightening controls on its supply orders.
  • Retirements have resulted in an overall decrease in student support services expenditures, falling from $2.67 million to $2.55 million.
  • In terms of enrollment, there are 713 students in the district, including 529 at Belmar Elementary School, 159 going to a high school in the sending district, 13 attending vocational school and 12 requiring special needs placement.

Other School Board News

Robert Preston officially took his seat on the Belmar Board of Education, filling the vacancy left by Lisa Miller, who resigned in January.

In his professional life, Preston serves as principal of Emma I. Arleth Elementary School in Sayreville.

He will serve on the 10-member board until the end of the year — after voters decide in November who will fill the one year remaining on Miller’s unexpired term.


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