JACKSON – Members of the Township Council have adopted a $44.17 million budget to fund the operation of Jackson during 2018.
The 2018 budget will be supported in part by the collection of $32.35 million in taxes from Jackson’s residential and commercial property owners. Other revenues will include $3.4 million in state aid, the same as 2017, and the use of $3.7 million from surplus funds (savings). The 2017 municipal budget used $2.8 million from surplus as revenue.
In 2017, the budget totaled $42.4 million and included a $31.8 million local tax levy. The municipal tax rate was 47.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the average home was assessed at $326,489 and the owner of that home paid $1,544 in municipal taxes.
In 2018, the municipal tax rate will increase to 47.9 cents per $100, the average home is assessed at $326,823 and the owner of that home will pay $1,565 in municipal taxes, a $21 increase from 2017.
Council President Ken Bressi, Vice President Robert Nixon, Councilman Barry Calogero, Councilman Scott Martin and Councilwoman Anne Updegrave voted to adopt the budget at the April 24 meeting. No residents spoke during the public hearing.
Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill. In Jackson, property owners also pay school taxes, Ocean County taxes and other assessments. The impact of a budget on a property owner is dependent on the assessed value of the individual’s property and the tax rate established by the taxing entity.
“Picture a dollar bill and how much of your tax dollars are going to fund certain portions of the government; 20 cents of every dollar funds this municipality, which means 80 percent of your tax dollars are going to other government entities (school districts and Ocean County),” Nixon said.
He said with that 20 percent, Jackson is an extremely well run municipality.
“You get an amazing police department, which has expanded, an increase and enhancement in services, recreation and senior services, clean streets, and a very effective administration which is rather lean and mean in terms of employees, so I think the price per dollar is very fair compared to any town in New Jersey. This is an extremely well run municipality and I think the increase in the tax rate is low in comparison to some of the pressures being put on other municipalities,” Nixon said.
Jackson Police Department salaries and wages have increased from $11.1 million in 2017 to $11.6 million in 2018. Police department salaries and wages account for approximately 25.2 percent of the municipal budget. Other police department expenses have increased from $625,000 in 2017 to $658,000 in 2018. Police dispatch/911 salaries and wages have increased from $528,000 in 2017 to $546,000 in 2018, according to the budget.
The budget indicates Jackson has shared service agreements with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County, the Jackson School District Board of Education, the Jackson Township Municipal Utilities Authority, the Ocean County Board of Health and the Jackson Board of Fire Commissioners for fire districts 2, 3, and 4 for various services.