Aberdeen council adopts $22M municipal budget for 2020

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ABERDEEN – The Township Council has adopted a $22.08 million budget which will fund the operation of Aberdeen Township in 2020.

The budget was adopted on June 18.

When the budget was introduced in April, the spending plan totaled $22.05 million. Adjustments were made during the intervening months for road repair costs that added $30,000 to the budget, according to Township Manager Bryan Russell.

The 2020 budget will be supported through the collection of a $12.22 million local tax levy to be collected from residential and commercial property owners. Officials will use $1.25 million from the surplus fund (savings) as revenue and expect to receive $1.44 million in state aid.

Aberdeen Township’s 2019 budget totaled $21.87 million and was supported through the collection of a $12.21 million local tax levy. Officials used $950,000 from the surplus fund as revenue and received $1.44 million in state aid.

In 2019, the municipal tax rate was 54.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in the township was assessed at $300,010. The owner of that home paid about $1,641 in municipal taxes.

In 2020, the municipal tax rate is projected to be 52.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in the township is projected to be assessed at $312,900. The owner of that home will pay about $1,640 in municipal taxes.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill, which also includes Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District taxes and Monmouth County taxes.

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

Russell said that for 2020, Aberdeen Township’s general liability insurance costs have decreased due to a change in the carrier; healthcare costs have decreased as a result of efficiencies in the township’s health insurance fund and the use of an opt out option for municipal employees; police salaries and wages stabilized because the police willingly renegotiated contracts; and debt service is stabilizing as a result of the township’s debt restructuring and bonding with the Monmouth County Improvement Authority.

Russell said additional savings will be seen in the future.

Officials expect an increase in revenue for a payment in lieu of taxes program due to the completion of new construction; surplus as revenue was increased due to a larger increase in all surplus balances, while maintaining what officials called strong balances and a commitment to capital improvement projects; and all revenues and expenses were re-evaluated at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and changes were made to ease the effects of the crisis on residents.

“Capital improvements are done through ordinances. The major focus on improvements is for roads and infrastructure,” Russell said.