Red Bank voters will be asked to approve a local schools budget that increases the tax rate by a penny per $100 of property value, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

The owner of a home assessed at the borough-average $404,627 would pay an additional $40 annually under the proposed budget. The increase was the same for the current school year.

According to the Press, the $15.82 million spending plan would be funded by $11.6 million in taxes, up $255,548, or 2.25 percent.

State aid to the district is expected to rise to 20 percent of the budget, from the current 17 percent, the Press’s Larry Higgs reports.

From the story:

School officials made the decision to use about $450,000 from the districts $942,000 surplus to finance a list of badly needed facilities work at the primary and middle schools, rather than burden taxpayers for those improvements, ranging form new school security systems to sidewalks and windows.

This is the second year the district has successfully used zero-based budgeting, Morana said. That practice requires department heads to build their budgets from zero instead using last year’s figure as a starting point.

One uncertainty for the district is how much money the state will require the district to transfer in state aid to the Red Bank Charter School. Last year, $1.79 million was transferred to the charter school, which is entitled to a portion of the district’s state funding at an amount set annually by the state Department of Education…

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. March 19 in the Primary School cafeteria.

Morana is scheduled to make presentations about the budget at the open house Saturday at the primary and middle schools, to community groups in the east and west sides, and to the Borough Council March 24.

The budget funds the borough’s primary and middle schools, and partially funds the Red Bank Charter School. Red Bank Regional High School is a separate taxing district.

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