Old Bridge officials introduce $55.3 million municipal budget

Waldemarus

OLD BRIDGE — Township Council members are continuing to discuss the 2018 municipal budget, which is expected to result in a $22 tax increase for the owner of a home that is assessed at the Old Bridge average of $154,015.

The proposed $55.3 million municipal budget was introduced on March 5. A formal budget presentation and public hearing will be held on April 9.

The 2018 spending plan represents a $179,900 increase from the 2017 municipal budget, Old Bridge Chief Financial Officer Himanshu Shah said.

The municipal tax levy for 2018 will be $34.17 million, to be collected from Old Bridge’s residential and commercial property owners. Shah said $6.75 million in surplus funds (savings) will be used as revenue in the budget and he said the township expects to receive $6.27 million in state aid.

“The 2018 budget provides funding for the continuation and improvement of core municipal services for the residents of Old Bridge,” Shah said.

Shah said employee salaries, benefits and payroll taxes comprise 62.68 percent of total annual expenditures in the budget. Salaries and wages total $22.45 million, an increase of $763,122 from 2017.

The projected $22 tax increase for the owner of a home assessed at the township average of $154,015 is accounted for with a $13 increase due to the municipal budget and a $9 increase due to the library budget.

If the municipal budget is adopted as proposed, the municipal tax rate will increase from 97.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2017 to 97.9 cents per $100 in 2018 and the owner of a home assessed at the township average will see his municipal tax increase from $1,495 to $1,508.

The 2018 minimum state-required funding for the library is $2.71 million, according to Shah. The library tax rate is projected to increase from 7.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2017 to 7.8 cents per $100 in 2018 and the owner of a home assessed at the township average will see his/her library tax increase from $111 to $120.

The municipal tax and the library tax are two items on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Old Bridge Township Public Schools taxes and Middlesex County taxes.