By Matthew Sockol
FREEHOLD – The Borough Council has adopted a $15.68 million budget to fund the operation of Freehold Borough this year.
The budget will be supported by the collection of $9.7 million in municipal purposes taxes and $328,768 in library taxes from the borough’s residential and commercial property owners. Other revenue includes the use of $1.43 million in surplus funds (savings) and $1.25 million in state aid.
Freehold Borough’s 2015 budget totaled $15.6 million and was supported by the collection of $9.4 million in property taxes, $317,281 in library taxes, $1.36 million in surplus funds and $1.25 million in state aid. The municipal tax rate was 91.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the average home assessment was $250,499 and the owner of that home paid $2,287 in municipal taxes.
The Freehold Public Library is not part of the Monmouth County Library System and is funded by municipal taxes.
In 2016, the municipal tax rate is projected to be 94.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and the average home assessment is $247,410. The owner of that home will pay $2,335 in municipal taxes.
An individual will pay more or less in municipal taxes based on the assessment of his property and/or home.
The budget includes the following selected appropriations: public safety (includes police department), $4.2 million; insurance, $2.2 million; municipal debt service, $1.5 million; public works, $1.5 million; statutory expenditures, $1.3 million; municipal general government, $871,850; reserve for uncollected taxes, $789,547; landfill and solid waste disposal, $582,020; utilities and bulk purchases, $489,500.
In addition to municipal taxes, a property owner’s tax bill also includes Freehold Borough K-8 School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, Monmouth County taxes and other assessments.
Freehold Borough has 69 full-time employees, which includes 27 police officers, and 54 part-time employees. Personnel costs account for $10.5 million (67 percent) of the $15.68 million budget, according to municipal officials.
Prior to the budget’s adoption, council members voted to authorize an amendment to the spending plan that lowered the tax levy from $9.73 million to $9.7 million and increased the total budget from $15.679 million to $15.68 million.