Howell Township Council reduces tax levy in defeated fire budget

HOWELL – The Township Council has reduced the tax levy that was proposed by the Fire District No. 2 Board of Fire Commissioners and defeated by voters in a recent election.

Fire District No. 2 is in the Adelphia section of Howell.

In February, the fire commissioners who oversee the fire district proposed a $1.63 million budget to support the operation of the fire district in 2020.

Residential and commercial property owners in Fire District No. 2 were being asked to pay $1.1 million in a fire district tax levy to support the budget.

The proposed $1.1 million tax levy was defeated in the Feb. 15 election. The vote total for the election was unavailable.

By law, the defeated budget was sent to the Township Council for review.

On March 24, Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman Thomas Russo took action on the Fire District No. 2 budget.

The members of the governing body reduced the proposed tax levy by $50,000 and authorized a revised tax levy of $1.05 million. Reductions were made in the capital appropriations line item and in the salaries and wages line item to account for the authorized reduction in the tax levy.

The fire district’s revised budget for 2020 will be $1.58 million, according to the resolution that was passed by the council.

Municipal officials said the Fire District No. 2 tax rate in 2019 was 4.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $250,000 paid about $115 in fire district taxes. The owner of a home assessed at $350,000 paid about $161 in fire district taxes.

Municipal officials said that with the Township Council’s $50,000 reduction in the proposed 2020 fire district tax levy, the tax rate for Fire District No. 2 will remain at about 4.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

Fire district taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Howell municipal taxes, Howell K-8 School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and Monmouth County taxes.

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