Lakewood School Budget Would Raise Tax Rate 4%


lakewood-small1Property owners in Lakewood, NJ, would see a 4 percent jump – 3.4 cents – in the school tax rate based on a 2009-10 budget that the Board of Education introduced last night. The board voted to submit to the county a $73.6 million tax levy, of which $72.4 million will be decided by voters. The rest would go toward a debt service tax that does not appear on the ballot. The proposed budget totals $138.35 million. The tax rate is to rise to 91.92 cents per $100 of assessed property value, according to the proposal, meaning someone with a home valued at $400,000 will pay about $136 more in school tax next year. The 4 percent increase from last year is the maximum allowed by the state.Last year, the budget failed for the third year in a row. Voters will decide next year’s tax levy on April 21.

Since 2006, the district had been plagued with debt. It ended that school year with a $1.1 million deficit, which was compounded the following year when officials realized they needed another $7 million in revenue to pull out of the red by 2009.

District Business Administrator Robert Finger said the $6.5 million sale of the administration building on Princeton Avenue to Beth Medrash Govoha last fall has cured these shortfalls and allowed the district to end last school year with a $277,000 surplus. He anticipates ending the 2008-09 year $257,000 in the black, he said.

“It wiped out all the problems that ensued before I got here with (mistakes in) grants and misspending,” Finger said, referring to roughly $4.3 million in such over-expenditures. The sale also paid for about $800,000 in security upgrades and a new alternative school.

Finger acknowledged, however, that the plan to pad the surplus with money from the sale “didn’t really work out.”

The administration has since signed a five-year lease to occupy about 17,000 square feet at the site of the former Jamesway department store on Route 9 that is also owned by BMG.

Finger also expects some $8 million in federal stimulus cash for next year but no additional state aid.

{APP/ Newscenter}


  1. where is steven langert ??
    didn’t he campaign on cutting taxes there is too much waist and spending going on in the township and all they do is keep pn raising the property taxes enough is enough its time to fight time for accountability from our elected officials
    and maybe its time to merge all the ocean county school districts into one system we can’t afford to live here anymore.

  2. One man cannot accomplish everything, especially not in a matter of weeks. Langert is to be commended for spending incredible amounts of time in true dedication to bettering the matzav for all of us. He is the driving force behind the reassessment. In any case, he cannot control or even really influence the school tax, we have elected a majority of frum yidden to that body and they alone bear the responsibility to reduce the spending from this obscene $138M number. How did the budget almost triple in 10 years? with no growth in the public school population? We elected those people to that board to protect our interests and its high time they did so.

  3. can we have the names of all frum members of the board let them show us how they are protecting the interest of the tzibur at large not of a few roshei hamosdos that look at it as if its a free ATM machine the bottom line is that the oilam in lakewood is footing the tax bill single handidly and there has to be accountability and transparency.If those that are on the board for too long could not fight for us its time for them to go and we should hold them accountable for not being emesdigeh shluchei tzibbur.Let them explain dollar for dollar its time to throw out the board of Ed.