Manalapan governing body introduces $34.9M budget for 2020


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MANALAPAN – The Township Committee has introduced a $34.91 million budget to fund the operation of Manalapan during 2020.

The budget was introduced on April 29. Mayor Jack McNaboe, Deputy Mayor Susan Cohen, Committeeman Eric Nelson, Committeeman Barry Jacobson and Committeewoman Mary Ann Musich voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the budget.

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A public hearing on the budget has been scheduled for the committee’s June 10 meeting. The budget may be adopted that evening.

All five members of the governing body commended Township Administrator Tara Lovrich, Chief Financial Officer Tricia Addario and their staffs for their efforts to develop a budget during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic when Manalapan expects to face a loss in revenue and could see the payment of its state aid delayed.

Nelson noted that even with “an expected decrease in revenue, this budget keeps services at the level at which they are at now.”

“The budget is always a challenge, but this year’s budget had challenges no one could have anticipated,” Musich said.

Cohen said Lovrich and Addario “always set a high bar on the budget, but this year they went above and beyond for our residents to keep the budget the way it is.”

“We start with a dream list (of items requested by municipal departments) and then things get cut, things get eliminated,” McNaboe said. “This is a very responsible budget, it is prudent, it continues to invest in this town so things do not deteriorate.”

According to the 2020 budget document posted on the township’s website, the $34.91 million budget will be supported in part by the following revenues: the collection of $23.54 million in taxes from Manalapan’s residential and commercial property owners; the receipt of $3.87 million in state aid; and the appropriation of $3.5 million from the township’s surplus fund (savings).

Manalapan’s 2019 budget totaled $34.49 million and was supported in part by a tax levy of $22.96 million; the receipt of $3.87 million in state aid; and the appropriation of $3.5 million from the surplus fund.

In 2019, the average home in Manalapan was assessed at $448,180, the municipal tax rate was 33.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and the owner of that home paid $1,483 in municipal taxes.

In 2020, the average home in Manalapan is assessed at $453,733, the municipal tax rate is projected to be 33.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and the other of that home will pay $1,511 in municipal taxes.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Monmouth County taxes, Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and a fire district tax.

The total amount of taxes a property owner pays is determined by the assessed valuation of his home and/or property and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Lovrich said for every $1 in taxes a Manalapan property owner pays, 16% (i.e., 16 cents) goes to the township, 15% (15 cents) goes to Monmouth County, 46% (46 cents) goes to the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District, 20% (20 cents) goes to the Freehold Regional High School District, 2% (2 cents) goes to a municipal fire district and 1% (1 cent) goes to other assessments.

The largest single appropriation in the 2020 budget is for salaries and wages for employees in the Manalapan Police Department, at $7.6 million. The appropriation for other police expenses is $300,316.

Insurance includes the following appropriations: employee group health insurance, $3.36 million; and general liability insurance, $575,392.

Under the category of public works, streets and roads, salaries and wages have an appropriation of $1.7 million and other expenses of $209,500 for 2020.

Under sanitation, solid waste collection, the appropriation is $1.84 million. Garbage collection is provided by the township and the cost is included in a property owner’s municipal taxes.

Manalapan’s 2020 budget includes a payment of $666,227 to the Public Employees Retirement System; a payment of $1.95 million to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey; a payment of $940,000 to Social Security; a payment of $1.2 million in bond principal; and a payment of $606,450 in interest on bonds.

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