LAKE COMO, NJ — Lake Como Board of Education has approved a $4.1 million budget for the 2020-2021 school year with $2.65 million to be raised through taxation.

Based on the tax levy, the tax rate will be $0.61 per $100 of assessed valuation. On a property assessed at $500,000, school taxes will be about $3,000 a year.

While the district will receive nearly $43,000 less in adjustment state aid, it will be awarded $228,000 for children attending the preschool program for 3- and 4-year-olds at Belmar Elementary School — an increase of $97,000 from the current year.

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In addition, the school board approved utilizing nearly $200,000 from its tuition reserve to offset a $254,000 increase in tuition costs at sending district schools. Most Lake Como children attend Belmar Elementary School and Manasquan High School.

The budget also shows a $223,000 reduction in transportation costs, as the district looks to recoup those expenditures with the closures of schools since March 18 due to the coronavirus public health emergency.

The budget was unanimously approved at the school board’s April 30 meeting, held remotely due to the current health emergency, with no comments during a public hearing. 

Lake Como is a nonoperating school district that primarily funds tuition and transportation costs to sending school districts — expenses it cannot control.

While current enrollment of about 190 students, the district expects that total to drop to 182 by the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

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