By Matthew Sockol
FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – The Township Committee has introduced a $40.1 million budget to fund the operation of the municipality this year.
A public hearing on the budget has been scheduled for 8 p.m. April 26 at town hall. Residents may comment on or ask questions about the budget at that time. The committee may adopt the budget that evening.
Deputy Mayor Lester Preston and committeemen Anthony Ammiano, Thomas Cook and David Salkin voted to introduce the budget on March 22. Mayor Barbara McMorrow was absent from the meeting.
According to Business Administrator Peter Valesi, the $40.1 million budget will be supported through the collection of $20.89 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners. Other revenues include the use of $5.1 million in surplus funds (savings) and $7.4 million in state aid.
Freehold Township’s 2015 budget totaled $39.7 million and was supported through the collection of $20.3 million in property taxes, $5.6 million in surplus funds and $7.4 million in state aid.
In 2015, the municipal tax rate was 34.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and the average home assessment was $375,365. The owner of that home paid $1,291 in municipal taxes.
In 2016, the municipal tax rate is projected to be 34.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and the average home assessment is $380,713. The owner of that home will pay $1,317 in municipal taxes.
An individual will pay more or less in municipal taxes based on the assessment of his property and/or home.
In addition to municipal taxes, a property owner’s tax bill also includes Freehold Township K-8 School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, Monmouth County taxes, a fire district tax and other assessments.
The only planned capital improvements for 2016 will be road paving projects at a cost of $3 million, according to Valesi.
The budget includes the following selected appropriations:
- Public safety (includes police department), $9.5 million
- Insurance, $5.9 million
- Municipal debt service, $5.8 million
- Public works, $3.7 million
- Statutory expenditures, $3.6 million
- Municipal general government, $2.8 million
- Reserve for uncollected taxes, $1.9 million
- Utilities and bulk purchases, $1.4 million
- Shared services, $1.1 million
Freehold Township has 195 full-time employees, which includes 66 police officers, and 64 part-time employees. Personnel costs will account for $24.3 million of the municipality’s $40.1 million budget for 2016.