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Red Bank will mail estimated tax bills without budget in place

RED BANK – Even though Red Bank’s elected officials have not adopted the 2020 municipal budget, that will not stop the borough from mailing out property tax bills which will be due on Aug. 1.

During a meeting of the Borough Council on May 27, council members authorized Red Bank’s tax collector to prepare, deliver and process third quarter estimated tax bills due Aug. 1.

According to a resolution, because of “the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak,” state officials have delayed the adoption of the New Jersey Fiscal Year 2021 budget to Sept. 30 and the Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) cannot certify state aid allocations to municipal budgets until state aid appropriations are known.

The resolution states that the DLGS cannot approve municipal budgets and that the Monmouth County Board of Taxation cannot certify taxes until long after the June 30 deadline to process third quarter tax bills due Aug. 1 and that “without an adopted 2020 municipal budget and without a 2020 certified tax rate, the tax collector cannot process the final 2020 tax levy.”

Council members said Red Bank’s tax collector, in consultation with the chief financial officer, computed and certified an estimated total tax levy of $52.21 million, at a rate of $2.297 per $100 of assessed valuation, as necessary to bill third quarter taxes due Aug. 1.

According to the council, the tax collector has been directed to process estimated tax bills for the third quarterly installment of 2020 taxes. The third quarterly installment of 2020 taxes will not be subject to interest until the later of Aug. 10 or the 25th calendar day after the date the estimated tax bills were mailed.

In other business, the council members authorized a reimbursement agreement with Monmouth County for the municipal coronavirus relief fund program.

According to a resolution, the United States, Monmouth County and the borough are victims of the coronavirus pandemic and on March 27, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act) was signed into federal law by President Donald Trump.

Council members said the CARES Act was enacted, among other purposes, “to combat the economic damage to states, counties and municipalities caused by the coronavirus.” They said the county “has received CARES Act funds from the U.S. Treasury to reimburse the county for economic damage caused by the coronavirus.”

The county will disburse the funds to eligible recipients in accordance with the terms and provisions of the CARES Act and any guidelines issued by the federal government.

The Monmouth County freeholders have determined it is in the best interests of the county’s residents to dedicate a share of the funds to reimburse municipalities for coronavirus-related costs and expenses, according to the resolution.

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady said at this time he cannot provide an estimate of how much funding Red Bank will seek because borough officials “have to confirm the eligibility of various expenses with the county under the guidelines of the program to ensure compliance with the federal regulations of the CARES Act funds. Additionally, this program is available through Dec. 31, 2020, and so expenses may continue to be incurred until then.”

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