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Middletown committee members vote to introduce 2022 budget

MIDDLETOWN – The Township Committee has introduced an $88.71 million budget to fund the operation of Middletown during 2022.

The budget was introduced during a meeting on March 21. Mayor Tony Perry, Deputy Mayor Rick Hibell, Committeeman Kevin Settembrino, Committeeman Ryan Clarke and Committeewoman Kimberly Kratz voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the budget.

A public hearing on the budget will be held on April 18. The committee members may vote to adopt the budget following the public hearing.

According to municipal officials, Middletown’s residential and commercial property owners will pay a local tax levy of $57.97 million to support this year’s $88.71 million spending plan. Revenue from the surplus fund (savings), state aid and other sources will fund the remaining $30.74 million worth of appropriations.

Salaries and wages that total $29.44 million account for the largest amount of municipal funding, at 33.19% of the budget, according to Chief Financial Officer Colleen Lapp.

The 2020 budget had appropriations totaling $83.11 million. Middletown’s residential and commercial property owners paid a local tax levy of $55.77 million to support municipal operations.

In 2020, the municipal tax rate was 48.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Middletown was assessed at $447,629 and the owner of that home paid about $2,171 in municipal taxes.

The 2021 budget had appropriations totaling $84.4 million. Middletown’s residential and commercial property owners paid a local tax levy of $55.75 million to support municipal operations.

In 2021, the municipal tax rate was 46.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Middletown was assessed at $467,271 and the owner of that home paid about $2,182 in municipal taxes.

In 2022, the municipal tax rate is projected to be 42.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Middletown is now assessed at $530,214, which reflects an increase in home values in the local real estate market, according to municipal officials. The owner of that home will pay about $2,275 in municipal taxes.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill. Property owners also pay Middletown Township Public Schools taxes and Monmouth County taxes.

The amount an individual pays in property taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Lapp said for each $1 in taxes that is paid by a property owner in Middletown, 62 cents goes to the school district, 23 cents goes to the municipality, 11 cents goes to the county, 2 cents goes to the Middletown library and 2 cents goes to open space.

Perry said, “All of the services provided by the municipality are being impacted by inflation, which is running at about 8%.”

The mayor said Middletown is now being charged extra fees for services such as deliveries. He said the additional fees reflect higher fuel costs being paid by the companies that make deliveries (i.e., package delivery companies, stationary delivery companies).

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