HOLMDEL – When Holmdel residents go to the polls on Nov. 2, they may be asked by the Township Committee if they want the tax rate that supports the Holmdel Open Space, Recreation, Floodplain Protection and Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund to be increased from 2.5 cents per $100 of equalized valuation to 3.5 cents per $100 of equalized valuation.
With a 5-0 vote on July 13, the committee members introduced an ordinance which proposes placing that question on the Election Day ballot.
A public hearing and a possible vote for adoption of the ordinance has been scheduled for Aug. 10.
According to the proposed ordinance, in 1998, Holmdel voters approved the creation and funding of the Holmdel Open Space Trust Fund with a collection rate of 1 cent per $100 of equalized valuation.
In 2000, voters supported an increase in the collection rate from 1 cent to 2.5 cents per $100 of equalized valuation.
Now, the committee members want to ask voters to consider an increase in the collection rate for the Holmdel Open Space Trust Fund to 3.5 cents per $100 of equalized valuation through a question on the general election ballot.
According to the governing body, the increase would fund purposes such as the additional acquisition of open space parcels and improvements to open space and parkland properties Holmdel already owns.
With the current open space tax rate of 2.5 cents per $100 of equalized valuation in place, the owner of a home that is assessed at $700,000 pays about $175 per year into the open space fund.
If the open space tax rate was increased to the proposed level of 3.5 cents per $100 of equalized valuation, the owner of a home that is assessed at $700,000 would pay about $245 per year into the open space fund (an annual increase of $70).
If the question is placed on the Nov. 2 ballot and approved by voters, the Township Committee will hold a public hearing to determine the allocation of the increased proceeds to the Holmdel Open Space Trust Fund.
Several residents who spoke during the public comment portion of the July 13 meeting asked their elected officials to provide information which clearly indicates how funds that are collected through the municipal open space tax are used to benefit Holmdel.
In response to those requests, municipal officials said information regarding how open space funds are and would be used will be provided if the proposed public question is approved to be placed on the Nov. 2 ballot.