Township Committee members adopt $28M budget in Holmdel

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HOLMDEL – Members of the Township Committee have adopted a 2022 municipal budget that totals $28.57 million and will be supported by the collection of $14.83 million in taxes from Holmdel’s residential and commercial property owners.

During a meeting on March 22, Mayor Greg Buontempo, Deputy Mayor Prakash Santhana and Committeewoman Cathy Weber voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget.

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Committeeman D.J. Luccarelli and Committeeman Rocco Impreveduto were absent from the meeting.

The 2022 budget includes an appropriation from Holmdel’s surplus fund (savings) of $5.1 million to be used as revenue in the budget. Revenues from other sources account for the balance of the funds that will be raised to support the spending plan.

The budget provides funding for the broad categories of public safety; code enforcement; infrastructure; waste removal; community events and programming; and the administration of government.

During the public hearing that preceded the committee’s adoption of the budget, Zachary Gilstein, who chairs the Holmdel Finance Advisory Committee, offered the committee’s comments on the spending plan and said, in part, “We believe the budget is a sound presentation of the expected revenues and appropriations in 2022.”

Gilstein noted the municipal budget accounts for approximately 17% of a Holmdel property owner’s total annual tax bill.

Taxes paid to other entities, such as the Holmdel Township Schools and Monmouth County, account for a majority of the remainder of the annual tax bill.

The 2021 municipal budget totaled $26.01 million and was supported by the collection of $14.85 million in taxes from Holmdel’s residential and commercial property owners. The 2021 budget appropriated $3.6 million from the surplus fund.

From 2021 to 2022, municipal officials have increased the appropriation from the surplus fund by $1.5 million, to $5.1 million. The amount to be raised in the local tax levy has essentially remained stable from 2021 to 2022 (decrease of $20,000).

In comments regarding the budget, Santhana said, “There are several important points to keep in mind. No. 1, we have a very healthy reserve (savings) and it is important to maintain that in order to maintain our (strong) bond rating. No. 2, this budget includes principal and interest payments on an $8 million capital improvements bond. We did this at the right time.”

In 2021, the municipal tax rate was 34 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Holmdel was assessed at $700,426 and the owner of that home paid about $2,381 in municipal taxes.

In 2022, the municipal tax rate is projected to decrease to 30.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The preliminary average home assessment for 2022 is $779,000, which will result in a municipal tax payment of $2,384.

Township Committee members said the decrease in the tax rate does not necessarily mean the amount a property owner pays in municipal taxes will decrease.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Holmdel Township Schools 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 2022 municipal budget include the following line items: police salaries and wages, $6.75 million (increase from $6.2 million in 2021); police, other expenses, $307,350; payment of bond principal, $2.93 million; interest on bonds, $1 million; group insurance plan for employees, $1.49 million; other insurance premiums, $430,000; public works salaries and wages, $850,000; public works, other expenses, $244,250; payment to Public Employees’ Retirement System, $572,299; Social Security, $855,000; and payment to Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey, $1.8 million.

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