Eatontown council adopts $27.3M municipal budget for 2020

News logo

EATONTOWN – In a 5-1 vote, the members of the Eatontown Borough Council have adopted a 2020 budget that totals $27.34 million to fund the operation of the municipality this year.

According to the municipal clerk’s office, council members Kevin Gonzalez, Joseph Olsavsky, Mark Regan Jr., Maria Grazia Escalante and Margaret Hope Corcoran voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget during a meeting on June 10.

Councilwoman Jasmine Story voted “no” on the motion to adopt the budget.

Asked for a comment regarding her vote, Story told the Atlantic Hub, “I voted no on the adopted budget because it does not take into consideration important guidance issued by the New Jersey Division of Local Government Services for responsible fiscal management related to the (coronavirus) pandemic.

“We worked very hard last year to build our surplus and this mayor and council is about to flounder it without making budget cuts and without taking into consideration that we are facing reduced revenues in the very near future and will need that surplus in the next two years,” Story said.

This year, Eatontown’s residential and commercial property owners will pay $18.49 million in a local tax levy to support the municipal budget. Other revenues include the receipt of $1.46 million in state aid and the appropriation of $4 million from the borough’s surplus fund (savings).

In 2019, Eatontown’s budget totaled $26.25 million and the total local tax levy was $18.2 million. The municipal tax rate was 80.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home was assessed at $349,405 and the owner of that home paid about $2,806 in municipal taxes.

In 2020, Eatontown’s municipal tax rate is projected to remain 80.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in the borough is now assessed at $359,783. The owner of that home will pay about $2,888 in municipal taxes.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Eatontown Public Schools taxes, Monmouth Regional High School 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.

The largest single appropriation in the 2020 budget is the salaries and wages that will be paid to Eatontown’s police officers, $6.15 million. The budget includes a $250,000 appropriation for other police department expenses.

Other appropriations include $2 million for road repairs and maintenance, salaries and wages; $1.28 million for road repairs and maintenance, other expenses; $317,000 for Monmouth County reclamation (landfill) fees; $1.82 million for the payment of bond principal; $702,000 for interest on bonds; $3.34 million for group health insurance; and $454,000 for workmen’s compensation insurance.

During 2020, $1.3 million will be paid to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey; $518,000 will be paid to the Public Employees Retirement System; and $464,000 will be paid to the Social Security System.