MARLBORO – With a 4-0 vote by the Township Council, Marlboro’s municipal budget for 2018 has been put in place and is expected to result in a $59 increase in municipal taxes for the owner of a home assessed at the township average.
The $37.4 million budget was adopted on April 20 by council President Randi Marder, Vice President Scott Metzger, Councilman Jeff Cantor and Councilwoman Carol Mazzola. Councilman Michael Scalea was absent from the meeting. No one from the public commented on the budget when given the opportunity to do so.
“The budget process runs smoothly each year thanks to the diligence in preparation by our business administrator, Jonathan Capp,” Marder said. “Our public budget discussions went well as the council met with each department head. These conversations covered their budgetary concerns as well as ours for the upcoming year.
“Marlboro is in a good financial position, as evidenced by our AAA bond rating. We have allocated $5 million toward local road improvements this year and will continue to address the need for road repairs as needed. This council and mayor work well together and put Marlboro first,” Marder said.
Under Marlboro’s form of government, the administration develops the budget and presents it to the council. The council members review and adopt the spending plan.
The $37.4 million budget was unchanged from the document that was introduced on March 1. The spending plan will be supported by the collection of $27.24 million in taxes from Marlboro’s residential and commercial property owners. Other revenues will account for the remaining $10.16 million in appropriations, according to municipal officials.
The 2018 budget is expected to result in an $59 increase in municipal taxes for an individual who owns a home that is assessed at the township average of $494,179, according to municipal officials.
In 2017, Marlboro’s budget totaled $36.8 million and the tax levy was $26.27 million. The municipal tax rate was 36.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home was assessed at $494,179 and the owner of that home paid $1,808 in municipal taxes.
In 2018, the average home assessment is $494,179 and the tax rate is projected to be 37.8 cents per $100. The owner of that home will pay $1,867 in municipal taxes, an increase of $59.
Property owners pay taxes based on the assessed value of their property. Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Monmouth County taxes, Marlboro K-8 School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and other assessments.
The budget’s anticipated amount of state aid for 2018 is $2.3 million, the same as 2017. Surplus funds (savings) being used as revenue in the 2018 budget are $4.6 million. In 2017, officials used $4.2 million from surplus.
In a budget statement, Mayor Jonathan Hornik said, in part, that “the budget is under the state (tax) levy cap by $1.76 million and is also $2.47 million under the state spending cap. The township is well under the state established limits on both taxation and spending.”
Hornik said the budget “includes expanded strength training, cardio and fitness programming for senior citizens, hiring and equipping a new police officer with a focus on explosives detection and school security, and a down payment on the largest road improvement initiative in Marlboro history.
“The budget includes a 5 percent down payment on a $5 million road improvement program to be launched this spring; with the cost of road reconstruction averaging approximately $500,000 per mile, we continue our practice of applying for grants to help offset the high costs associated with investing in infrastructure,” the mayor said.
Marlboro police officers were paid $8.68 million in base salaries and wages in 2017. That amount is expected to increase to $8.88 million in 2018. A total of $440,482 was budgeted for police operations in 2017 and $505,042 is budgeted for police operations in 2018. Officials said the increases include hiring Class III officers (retired law enforcement officers) to be stationed at township schools.
Officials budgeted $1.55 million in 2017 to pay salaries and wages for street and road management. That amount is expected to increase to $1.64 million in 2018. A total of $178,468 was budgeted for other expenses involving street and road improvements in 2017 and $172,607 is budgeted for other expenses involving street and road improvements in 2018.
Employees of the recreation department were paid $390,376 in base salaries and wages in 2017. That amount is expected to increase to $448,681 in 2018. A total of $150,140 was budgeted for recreation operations in 2017 and $188,085 is budgeted for recreation operations in 2018, according to municipal officials.