TOMS RIVER - The Toms River Regional School District has voted to increase its budget, which may lead to higher property taxes for four Ocean County towns.

If the proposed $131 million budget goes through, taxes could go up in Toms River, South Toms River, Beachwood and Pine Beach.

The increase would be 3.6 percent, which translates to a potential 3-12 percent property tax increase for homeowners.

School Superintendent Frank Roselli says the increase is necessary. The district lost $9 million in state aid last year, but still managed to have a low per-pupil spending compared to the rest of the state.