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Marlboro council introduces $40M municipal budget for 2020

MARLBORO – The Marlboro Township Council has introduced a $40 million budget to fund the operation of the municipality during 2020.

The budget was introduced on March 5 with votes from council President Carol Mazzola, Vice President Jeff Cantor, Councilwoman Randi Marder, Councilman Scott Metzger and Councilman Michael Scalea.

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.

A public hearing on the budget will be held on April 23. Residents may ask questions about or comment on the budget at that time.

Marlboro’s $40 million budget for 2020 will be supported by the collection of $28.49 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners. Municipal officials said $5.3 million from surplus funds (savings) would be used as revenue in the budget.

Marlboro’s $39 million budget for 2019 was supported by the collection of $27.19 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners. The budget used $5.5 million from surplus funds as revenue.

In 2019, the municipal tax rate was 37.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home that was assessed at the township average of $494,605 paid about $1,869 in municipal taxes.

In 2020, the municipal tax rate is projected to increase to 39.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home is now assessed at $495,093. The owner of that home will pay about $1,945 in municipal taxes.

If the assessed value of an individual’s home was $450,000 in 2019 and remains the same in 2020, there would be an increase from $1,701 to $1,768, for that individual’s municipal taxes.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill. Property owners in Marlboro also pay Marlboro K-8 School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, a fire district tax and Monmouth County taxes.

The total amount of property taxes an individual pays is based on the assessed value of his home and/or property and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

One of the largest line items in the municipal budget is the Marlboro Police Department. Police base salaries and wages in 2019 totaled $9.29 million. That amount is expected to increase to $9.37 million in 2020. In 2019, $607,839 was budgeted for police operations. In 2020, the budget for police operations is 668,326.

In a budget statement, Mayor Jonathan Hornik said, “The 2020 budgeted appropriations result in an overall increase in appropriations of $969,838, or 2.48%, inclusive of a one-time emergency appropriation approved in 2019 for the severe summer storm of July 22.

“Net of the emergency appropriation, the 2020 budget is proposed to increase by just 2% over 2019. There is nothing more important to me than the safety of our students and educators. To that end, the township’s school security partnership with both the K-8 and Freehold Regional school districts remains fully funded in this 2020 budget.

“The township’s mandated payment for the state pension system is fully funded, representing an increase of approximately $200,000,” the mayor said.

Hornik said the 2020 budget is under the state’s 2% tax levy cap by $1.07 million and under the state’s spending cap by $1.63 million.

Regarding capital improvements for 2020, he said, “We look forward to the state implementing improvements to main township intersections on the Route 79 corridor as part of the Route 79 reconstruction project.

“At no cost to local taxpayers, this project will result in a complete repaving of the highway and improvements to numerous intersections in Marlboro, including a combination of Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades and traffic striping and signal modifications as warranted at School Road, Wyncrest Road, Tennent Road, Route 520, Ryan Road and Lloyd Road.

“Our capital plan will continue to focus on roads and improvements to walkways and traffic intersections to improve vehicle safety as well as to enhance the walkability of our community.

“The Stattel farm properties at the busiest intersection in the township (Route 520 and Route 79) are part of a plan to connect and make key locations more accessible, including schools, the municipal complex and library, retail establishments and houses of worship,” the mayor said.

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