Freehold council introduces $17 million budget for 2020

FREEHOLD – The Borough Council has introduced a $17.1 million budget to fund the operation of Freehold Borough in 2020 and will hold a public hearing on the spending plan on June 1.

The budget was introduced by council members on April 20 and will be supported by the collection of $11.3 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners. Other revenue includes the receipt of $1.25 million in state aid and the appropriation of $1.72 million from the borough’s surplus fund (savings).

Freehold Borough’s 2019 budget totaled $16.8 million and was supported in part by the collection of a $10.75 million local tax levy. Other revenue included $1.3 million in state aid and the use of $1.6 million from the surplus fund.

In 2019, the municipal tax rate was 99.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home was assessed at $266,903 and the owner of that home paid about $2,648 in municipal taxes.

In 2020, the municipal tax rate is projected to increase to $1.018 per $100 of assessed valuation. For a home in Freehold Borough that is still assessed at $266,903, municipal taxes will total $2,717.

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

An individual pays more or less in taxes depending on the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Budget appropriations for 2020 include public safety, $4.53 million; insurance, $2.19 million; public works, $1.7 million; statutory expenditures, $1.52 million; general government, $1.24 million; debt, $1 million; reserve for uncollected taxes, $957,855; landfill and solid waste disposal, $685,768; education (including the Freehold Public Library), $480,056; utilities and bulk purchases, $469,500; and shared services, $462,073.

Freehold Borough has 71 full-time employees (includes 28 police officers) and 47 part-time employees in 2020. Total personnel costs account for $11.9 million of the proposed $17.1 million budget.