MARLBORO – The members of the Marlboro Township Council have introduced the 2021 municipal budget and scheduled a public hearing for April 22. At that time, residents may ask questions or make comments about the budget.
Council members introduced the budget during their March 4 meeting. In Marlboro’s form of government, the administration develops the budget.
After receiving the budget from Mayor Jonathan Hornik, Township Council President Jeff Cantor, Vice President Scott Metzger, Councilwoman Randi Marder, Councilwoman Carol Mazzola and Councilman Michael Scalea voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the budget.
Business Administrator Jonathan Capp informed the council members and members of the public who were listening to the meeting by phone that the 2021 budget contains a 1.38% increase in appropriations from 2020. The state has raised Marlboro’s payment into the pension system by 9% this year, he reported.
Capp said the 2021 budget retains all municipal services that were previously provided. He said the owner of a home that is assessed at the township average of $495,000 would pay about $1,983 to support the municipal budget in 2021, which is an increase of about $40 from 2020.
Hornik thanked Capp for putting together what he called a “tight budget” and said it is very important for Marlboro to retain its AAA bond rating.
Addressing the administration, Cantor said it was once again “a very inclusive budget process.”
According to the budget document posted on the township’s website, municipal appropriations will increase from $40.5 million in 2020 to $40.58 million in 2021.
Marlboro’s residential and commercial property owners support municipal operations through the payment of a local tax levy. The tax levy will increase from $28.49 million in 2020 to $29.17 million in 2021.
Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill. Marlboro property owners also pay Marlboro K-8 School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and Monmouth County taxes.
The amount an individual pays in property taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity (i.e., municipality, school district and county).
According to a budget document posted on the township’s website, Marlboro’s municipal tax rate will increase from 39.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2020 to 40 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2021.
In 2020, the average home in Marlboro was assessed at $495,093. The owner of that home paid about $1,945 in municipal taxes (.393 x 4,950).
In 2021, the average home in Marlboro is assessed at $494,783, according to Capp. The owner of that home will pay about $1,979 in municipal taxes (.40 x 4,947).
On the revenue side of the budget, the document indicates municipal officials will use $5.6 million from the township’s surplus account. In 2020, officials used $5.3 million from the surplus account as revenue.
Other revenue for 2021 includes the receipt of $2.27 million from the state; the same amount that was received in 2020.
Capp reported that Marlboro has experienced a loss of about $570,000 in commuter parking, municipal court operations and investment income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
On the appropriations side of the budget, the documents indicate municipal officials will fund the following selected appropriations: $208,286 on legal services; $337,501 on engineering services and costs; $2.99 million on employee group heath insurance; $9.33 million on police salaries and wages; $60,000 on aid to the volunteer ambulance companies; and $2 million in road maintenance, including $1.84 million on salaries and wages and $202,239 in other expenses.
In other business at the March 4 meeting, Hornik said the goal of municipal officials is to have a “full throttle” Marlboro Day community celebration in September.
Cantor said the Marlboro Blues and BBQ Festival is scheduled for Sept. 4.
Cantor also said once all the members of the council have received a coronavirus vaccine, he would like to resume in-person meetings of the governing body that would welcome the return of members of the public to Town Hall, possibly by July.
News Transcript Managing Editor Mark Rosman contributed to this article.