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Tinton Falls officials introduce $26.4 million municipal budget

A public hearing has been scheduled for April 16 on a $26.47 million municipal budget that has been introduced by the Tinton Falls Borough Council.

On March 19, council President Gary Baldwin, Councilman John Manginelli, Councilman Brock Siebert, Councilman Christopher Pak and Councilwoman Nancyanne Fama voted to introduce the municipality’s 2019 spending plan.

The council members’ vote followed a presentation of the municipal budget by Business Administrator Michael Skudera, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Fallon and Borough Engineer Thomas Neff.

The $26.47 million budget will be supported through the collection of $15.87 million in taxes from the borough’s residential and commercial property owners, according to the presentation. Officials will use $3.87 million from surplus (savings) as revenue in the budget. State aid will total $1.49 million.

The largest appropriations in the budget are for public safety (includes police) at $6.68 million and public works at $3.72 million. Other appropriations include $2.7 million for employee group health insurance, $2.63 million for debt service and $2.32 million for general government.

The average home in Tinton Falls is assessed at $358,000. With a 2018 municipal tax rate of 48.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the owner of that home paid $1,747 in municipal taxes. If that individual’s home is still assessed at $358,000 in 2019, and the tax rate is decreased to 47.1 cents, that individual will pay $1,686 in municipal taxes.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill and account for 24.44 percent of every tax dollar paid. Other items include elementary school and high school taxes (56.22 percent), Monmouth County taxes (15 percent) and a fire district tax (3.2 percent).

The amount of taxes a property owner pays is determined by the assessed value of his property and the tax rate established by each taxing entity.

Municipal officials said the top cost drivers in the 2019 budget are:

• $188,500 for an increase in the appropriation for recycling disposal costs; recent global market policy changes have altered what is acceptable for recycling and this has
dramatically spiked recycling processing fees;

• $172,279, which is a 9.12 percent increase in the required state pension payments. The total appropriation for pensions is increasing from $1.89 million to $2.07 million. Officials said that in 2014, the pension appropriations totaled $1.38 million.

• No increase in state aid, which has remained flat funded for 10 years. For reference, inflation is up more than 21 percent in that same period.

Municipal officials said the budget highlights include:

• Continuing to aggressively amortize debt and strengthen the municipality’s balance sheet;

• Providing funding for upgrades and improvements to borough parks; needed equipment and maintenance for public works and police; safety upgrades to municipal court, public works and borough hall; infrastructure improvements including sidewalks, roads and sewers; safety improvements for pedestrians and drivers; refurbish/replace worn
out street signs; repaint crosswalks and repaint traffic lines.

Planned capital improvements for the year include repaving 11 roads; new sidewalk construction on Wayside Road; sanitary sewer pump station and communication upgrades; next generation video cameras for police cars; park upgrades and improvements including Sycamore Park, Liberty Park and Hockhockson Park; and street lighting improvements in the former Fort Monmouth area.

“This budget gets things done, but it also provides a decrease in the tax rate,” Skudera said.

Mayor Vito Perillo thanked Skudera, Fallon, Neff and their staffs for their efforts to develop the municipal budget.

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