Home Atl Hub Atl Hub News Red Bank council members adopt municipal budget in split vote

Red Bank council members adopt municipal budget in split vote

RED BANK – In a 4-2 vote, the Red Bank Borough Council has adopted the 2020 municipal budget.

The spending plan was adopted during the council’s Aug. 19 meeting.

Democratic council members Hazim Yassin, Erik Yngstrom, Kate Triggiano and Kathleen Horgan voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget.

Democratic councilmen Edward Zipprich and Michael Ballard voted “no” on the motion. The two men are seeking re-election to the council in November and are facing a challenge from Jonathan Penney and Brian Irwin.

Red Bank’s 2020 budget totals $23.14 million. The borough’s residential and commercial property owners are expected to pay about $14.12 million in a local tax levy to support municipal operations and an additional $786,640 in taxes to support the Red Bank Public Library, according to the budget. The total amount to be raised in taxes is about $14.9 million.

Other revenues in the 2020 budget include the receipt of $2 million in state aid and the appropriation of $2.43 million from the borough’s surplus fund (savings).

Red Bank’s 2019 budget totaled $22.99 million. Municipal operations were supported by a tax levy of $13.45 million and property owners paid an additional $766,853 in a library tax. The total amount raised in taxes was about $14.21 million.

Other revenues in the 2019 budget included the receipt of $2 million in state aid and the  appropriation of $1.48 million from the surplus fund.

The amount to be raised by taxes has increased by $690,000 from 2019 to 2020.

In 2019, the average home in Red Bank was assessed at $376,216. The tax rate for municipal purposes was 60.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of that home paid about $2,268 in municipal taxes, plus a portion of the library tax.

In 2020, the average home in Red Bank is assessed at $383,981. The tax rate for municipal purposes will be 61.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of that home will pay about $2,373 in municipal taxes, plus a portion of the library tax.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Red Bank Borough Public Schools taxes, Red Bank 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.

During the public hearing on the budget, resident Angela Mirandi asked the members of the governing body to keep the municipal tax rate flat from 2019 to 2020 and said, “At the end of the day, taxpayers have to bear the burden for all of (the council’s budget decisions).”

Resident Cindy Burnham said, “There are cuts to be made (in the budget). We have to stop spending.”

The council’s Finance Committee produced a list of potential reductions in the budget totaling $153,000.

At Triggiano’s request, Borough Administrator Ziad Shehady conducted a line by line review of the Finance Committee’s suggested reductions.

Shehady explained that for one reason or another, the suggested reductions would not be feasible or appropriate, and would not serve Red Bank’s best interests.

“This is a budget based on facts, municipal operations and the law,” he said. “I cannot endorse these proposed reductions. The idea that we have not looked for cuts is disingenuous.”

After hearing Shehady review the Finance Committee’s proposed reductions, Triggiano said she was satisfied with the administrator’s explanations as to why the reductions could not be made and said, “We have left no stone unturned.”

At a meeting in July, council members voted 4-2 to slice $50,000 from the budget. Zipprich and Ballard voted “no” on the motion to cut the $50,000.

Selected appropriations from Red Bank’s 2020 budget include $5.3 million to be paid in police salaries and wages; $1.23 million to be paid in public works salaries and wages; and $254,742 to be paid in parks and recreation salaries and wages.

Other appropriations include $2.35 million for employee group health insurance; $364,400 for workmen’s compensation insurance; and $269,900 for liability insurance.

During 2020, Red Bank officials will pay $1.26 million to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey; $432,086 to the Public Employees Retirement System; and $450,000 to the Social Security System.

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