Colts Neck officials adopt $13.6 million municipal budget for 2021


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COLTS NECK – The members of the Township Committee have adopted a 2021 municipal budget that totals $13.67 million and will be supported by the collection of $8.28 million in taxes from Colts Neck’s residential and commercial property owners.

Officials will appropriate $2.4 million from Colts Neck’s surplus fund (savings) to be used as revenue in the budget and expect to receive $1.98 million in state aid.

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The 2021 budget was unanimously adopted by committee members on April 28.

In 2020, Colts Neck’s adopted budget totaled $12.47 million and the local tax levy was $7.8 million. Officials appropriated $1.6 million from surplus and received $1.98 million in state aid.

Mayor Michael Viola said the 2021 budget is under the permissible tax levy cap and under the permissible appropriations cap. That means officials will collect less in local taxes than they are permitted to collect by the state and they will spend less during the year than they are permitted to spend by the state.

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

In 2020, Colts Neck’s municipal tax rate was 25.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home was assessed at $823,000 and the owner of that home paid about $2,123 in municipal taxes (0.258 x 8,230).

In 2021, the municipal tax rate is projected to increase to 26.4 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home is now assessed at $830,000 and the owner of that home will pay about $2,191 in municipal taxes (0.264 x 8,300).

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 total 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.

Selected appropriations in the 2021 municipal budget include the following: police salaries and wages, $2.5 million; recycling, other expenses, $702,200; road repairs and maintenance, salaries and wages, $671,953; road repairs and maintenance, other expenses, $470,875; employee group health insurance, $574,000; payment to Social Security System, $295,000; payment to Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey, $616,728; payment to Public Employees’ Retirement System, $220,402; payment of bond principal, $1 million; and interest on bonds, $799,407.

A budget document provided by the township states that Colts Neck has 3,712 parcels, of which 3,155 are residential, 382 are farms and 73 are commercial. The average ratio assessed to true value is 96.69% and reflects the fact that properties are assessed at almost 100% of their market value, according to municipal officials.

In addition to municipal taxes, Colts Neck charges each property owner an open space tax at a rate of 1.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the township average of $830,000 will pay about $100 in open space taxes in 2021.

Municipal officials said the open space tax will generate about $370,000 to be used for the acquisition and preservation of open space parcels in the community.

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