Freehold Borough officials adopt 2021 municipal budget

FREEHOLD – Members of the Borough Council have adopted a $17.2 million budget to fund the operation of Freehold Borough during 2021.

The budget, which was adopted on May 17, will be supported by the collection of $11.6 million in taxes from the borough’s residential and commercial property owners.

Other revenue in the annual spending plan includes the receipt of $1.25 million in state aid and the appropriation of $1.82 million from the borough’s surplus fund (savings).

Freehold Borough’s 2020 budget totaled $16.9 million and was supported by the collection of $11.3 million in local taxes, the receipt of $1.25 million in state aid and the appropriation of $1.72 million from the surplus fund.

From 2020 to 2021, total appropriations have increased by $300,000 and the tax levy has also increased by $300,000.

In 2020, the municipal tax rate was $1.02 per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Freehold Borough was assessed at $266,903 and the owner of that home paid about $2,722 in municipal taxes (1.02 x 2,669).

The municipal tax rate for 2021 had not been determined as of June 4, according to borough officials, who said certain Monmouth County data has not been finalized.

Borough officials said they are waiting for the county to complete its budget process before they can provide the 2021 municipal tax rate.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Freehold Borough K-8 School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes and Monmouth County taxes.

An individual will pay more or less in taxes depending on the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the annual tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Mayor Kevin Kane thanked Chief Financial Officer Richard Gartz for his work on the 2021 budget.

“Year after year, we produce great budgets,” Kane said. “All the work you see and will see going on throughout town, (such as) the new water treatment plant, the new Borough Hall and the redevelopment in the works, is possible because of the financial position we are in thanks to Ricky Gartz and the whole operation in the borough. We are in a great position to do a lot of great things. Tighten your seatbelts, because this is going to be a great ride.”