JACKSON – The members of the Jackson Township Council have adopted a $49.37 million budget that will fund the operation of the municipality during 2021.
During a meeting on May 11, Township Council President Andrew Kern, Vice President Martin Flemming, Councilman Alex Sauickie, Councilman Stephen Chisholm and Councilman Nino Borrelli voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget.
Borrelli called the budget fiscally responsible and thanked Mayor Mike Reina and Business Administrator Terence Wall for their efforts to develop the community’s annual spending plan.
“Despite the past pandemic year and the state shutdowns, our town is still doing very well financially, thank God. We can pay cash, that is from time to time, we can do things in our town instead of having to put it on credit, even though our town has great credit,” Borelli said.
He said municipal officials are taking care of residents’ services, but would like to see an increase in the township’s commercial base.
“We have some big commercial projects in the pipeline that are being worked out and which will assist in that regard and bring in even more revenue. We have surpluses already and this will ultimately help ease the tax burden on our fellow residents and create jobs. An active local economy will only contribute to a sustainable and thriving town, which can only help our future municipal budgets,” Borelli said.
Chisholm thanked the municipal administration and said it is time to open New Jersey as the coronavirus pandemic winds down.
“We are in very good shape fiscally here in Jackson, which is more than I can say for our state or in Washington, D.C., and I hope that somewhere they can take a lesson.
“I understand we had the pandemic, but for all intents and purposes Mr. Governor, that has been over since last April. And while I may be somebody who recently had COVID and I am recovering from that, that is not the case worldwide, that is not the case everywhere,” Chisholm said.
Sauckie praised the budget and said, “I think the funding we have included for our police department is probably better than expected. There is a lot of extra funding in there for more vehicles, which I know the police have communicated they desperately need.”
Jackson’s 2021 budget shows an appropriation of $12.89 million for police salaries and wages, and an appropriation of $835,441 for police, other expenses. The budget includes an appropriation of $589,262 for police dispatch/911 salaries and wages.
Jackson’s 2020 budget showed an appropriation of $12.42 million for police salaries and wages, and an appropriation of $763,152 for police, other expenses. The budget included an appropriation of $546,000 for police dispatch/911 salaries and wages.
In his remarks, Kern thanked the administration, the staff in the Finance Department and Reina.
“As we move forward with these projects, there is also room to work to improve the costs that are estimated throughout the budget. Just having the budget there does not mean that funding goes 100%, there are still opportunities to improve and reduce costs,” Kern said.
In 2020, council members adopted a $47.54 million budget that was supported in part by the collection of $33.6 million in taxes from Jackson’s residential and commercial property owners. Officials used $4.8 million from the township’s surplus fund (savings) as revenue in the budget.
The 2020 municipal tax rate was 49.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home was assessed at $328,520 and the owner of that home paid about $1,616 in municipal taxes (0.492 x 3,285).
In 2021, the council members have adopted a $49.37 million budget that will be supported in part by the collection of $34.26 million in taxes from Jackson’s residential and commercial property owners. Officials are planning to use $5.95 million from the surplus fund as revenue in the budget.
The 2021 municipal tax rate is projected to be 50.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home is now assessed at $329,181 and the owner of that home will pay about $1,649 in municipal taxes (0.501 x 3,291).
From 2020 to 2021, total appropriations are up $1.83 million and the local tax levy is up $660,000.
The municipal budget funds all the operations of Jackson, including the Jackson Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the administration of government, employee health benefits, insurance, payments to employee pension funds, the repayment of debt and more.
Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Jackson School District taxes and Ocean County taxes.
The total amount of property 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.