Colts Neck officials adopt $12.4M municipal budget for 2020

COLTS NECK – Members of the Colts Neck Township Committee have adopted a 2020 municipal budget that totals $12.46 million and will be supported by the collection of $7.8 million in taxes from the community’s residential and commercial property owners.

To support the budget, officials will appropriate $1.6 million from Colts Neck’s surplus fund (savings) as revenue and expect to receive $1.98 million in state aid.

The budget was unanimously adopted by committee members on June 10. Mayor Frank Rizzuto said the spending plan is under the permissible tax levy cap and under the permissible appropriations cap.

“I thank the township’s department heads, the Township Committee, our commission chairs and our business administrator, Kathleen Capristo, for developing this budget,” Rizzuto said.

Colts Neck’s 2019 adopted budget totaled $12.5 million and the tax levy was $7.85 million. From 2019 to 2020, total appropriations have decreased by $40,000 and the amount to be paid by property owners in taxes has decreased by $50,000.

In 2019, the municipal tax rate was 26 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Colts Neck was assessed at $828,700. The owner of that home paid $2,155 in municipal taxes.

In 2020, the municipal tax rate is projected to remain at 26 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home is now assessed at $808,720. The owner of that home will pay $2,103 in municipal taxes.

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

The amount of 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.

A budget document provided by the township states that Colts Neck has 3,736 parcels, of which 3,137 are residential, 429 are farms and 72 are commercial; the average ratio (%), assessed to true value, is 99.24% and reflects the fact that properties are assessed at almost 100% of their market value.

The budget includes $2.36 million for police salaries and wages, which is up from $2.34 million in 2019. Other changes in salaries and wages include a decrease in road repairs and maintenance wages from $771,878 in 2019 to $649,417 in 2020; a decrease in snow removal wages from $289,100 in 2019 to $271,500 in 2020; and an increase in recycling wages from $268,075 in 2019 to $549,700 in 2020.

In addition to municipal taxes, Colts Neck charges each property owner an open space tax of 1.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the township average of $808,720 will pay about $97 in open space taxes in 2020.

Municipal officials said the open space tax will generate about $360,000 this year to be used for the acquisition and preservation of open space parcels.