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Freehold Township officials introduce 2022 municipal budget

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – The Township Committee has introduced a $45.4 million budget to fund the operation of Freehold Township this year.

The budget, which may be amended prior to its final adoption, was introduced by committee members on March 29.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for April 26 and the governing body may adopt the budget that evening.

The $45.4 million budget will be supported by the collection of $23.7 million in taxes from Freehold Township’s residential and commercial property owners. Other revenue includes the appropriation of $7.77 million from the township’s surplus fund (savings) and the receipt of $7.44 million in state aid.

Freehold Township’s 2021 budget totaled $43 million and was supported by the collection of $23 million in taxes from property owners. Other revenue included the receipt of $7.44 million in state aid; an amount which officials said has remained unchanged for 10 years.

From 2021 to 2022, appropriations have increased by $2.37 million and the tax levy has increased by $690,990.

In 2021, the municipal tax rate was 33.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Freehold Township was assessed at $426,190. The owner of that home paid about $1,427 in municipal taxes (0.335 x 4,261).

In 2022, the municipal tax rate is projected to decrease to 31.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. However, the average home is now estimated to be assessed at $494,212. The owner of that home will pay about $1,561 in municipal taxes (0.316 x 4,942).

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

Individuals pay more or less in taxes depending on the assessed value of their home and/or property and the annual tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Selected appropriations in the 2022 municipal budget include the following line items: public safety, $10.4 million; insurance, $8.43 million; debt, $5.4 million; statutory expenditures, $4.83 million; public works, $4.31 million; general government, $2.8 million; reserve for uncollected taxes, $2 million; utilities and bulk purchases, $1.34 million; and court and public defender, $1.19 million.

Freehold Township has 185 full-time employees, including 69 police officers, and 53 part-time employees. Municipal officials said personnel costs account for $35.4 million of the $45.4 million budget.

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