MILLSTONE – The Township Committee has adopted a $7.72 million budget to fund the operation of Millstone Township during 2021.
The budget, which was adopted June 2, will be supported by the collection of $3.82 million in taxes from Millstone’s residential and commercial property owners.
Other revenue for 2021 includes an appropriation of $929,000 from the township’s surplus fund (savings) and the receipt of $841,753 in state aid.
Millstone Township’s 2020 budget totaled $6.94 million and was supported by the collection of $3.32 million in taxes from property owners. Other revenue included an appropriation of $750,000 from the surplus fund and the receipt of $852,717 in state aid.
From 2020 to 2021, appropriations have increased by $843,586 and the local tax levy has increased by $502,496.
Selected appropriations in Millstone Township’s 2021 budget include the following: group insurance for employees and retirees, $625,000; general liability insurance, $109,200; road repairs and maintenance, salaries and wages, $606,500; road repairs and maintenance, other expenses, $155,500; sanitation, salaries and wages, $51,000; sanitation, other expenses, $280,239; payment to Public Employees’ Retirement System, $177,636; payment to Social Security System, $116,000; payment of bond principal, $1.22 million; interest on bonds, $770,542; and interest on notes, $137,328.
In 2020, Millstone Township’s municipal tax rate was about 17.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home was assessed at $536,364 and the owner of that home paid about $944 in municipal taxes.
In 2021, the municipal tax rate is projected to increase to 20.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home is now assessed at $495,050 and the owner of that home will pay about $1,000 in municipal taxes.
Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Millstone Township K-8 School District taxes, Monmouth County taxes and a fire district tax.
An individual pays more or less in taxes based on the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.
Commenting on the budget, Mayor Gary Dorfman said, “Apart from paying down debt service and funding the emergency services rescue squad, it’s pretty much a zero baseline budget. I don’t know how much better than that we can do.
“We went through several years of zero changes in the municipal tax rate, we did everything we could to optimize or spend our revenue and we are probably at the point of minimal opportunity to do better at what it is we are doing.
“There are certain expenses we know are increasing. We are continuing our recreation programs in our post-COVID (pandemic) world and in the coming weeks, we are going to have to change the hourly wage we pay to our camp counselors. … I think we can hold our heads high and say we are doing a pretty good job. We are trying to do better, but that’s where we are,” Dorfman said.