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Allentown Borough Council introduces 2022 municipal budget

ALLENTOWN — The members of the Allentown Borough Council have introduced a $2.87 million budget that will fund the operation of the municipality during 2022.

Allentown’s residential and commercial property owners will pay a tax levy of $1.72 million to support municipal operations. Other revenue will include a $470,000 appropriation from Allentown’s surplus fund (savings), miscellaneous revenues of $592,000 and the receipt of $131,000 in state aid.

The budget was introduced during the council’s April 12 meeting.

Voting “yes” on a motion to introduce the budget were Borough Council President John A. Elder III, Councilman Michael Drennan, Councilman Dan Payson, Councilwoman Martha Johnson and Councilwoman Nikki Darling.

Councilwoman Erica DeKranes was absent.

A public hearing on the budget has been scheduled for May 10.

The 2022 budget proposes the following appropriations: salaries and wages, $1.07 million (up from $1 million in 2021); debt service, $216,189 (up from $204,600 in 2021); capital improvements, $0 (down from $375,000 in 2021); and other expenses, $1.14 million (up from $1.13 million in 2021).

The borough has 32 employees in 2022; the same number of employees as in 2021.

Allentown’s 2021 budget totaled $3.16 million and was supported through the collection of a $1.68 million tax levy. Other revenues included $444,500 appropriated from the surplus fund and miscellaneous revenues of $972,000.

From 2021 to 2022, total appropriations have decreased by $290,000, while the tax levy has increased by $40,000.

During a recent presentation, Chief Financial Officer June Madden said that in 2022, police salaries and wages are increasing by $25,000 and garbage collection costs are increasing by $10,000.

In 2021, the municipal tax rate was 86.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Allentown was assessed at $292,860. The owner of that home paid about $2,544 in municipal taxes.

In 2022, the municipal tax rate is projected to be 89.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home in Allentown is now assessed at $293,116. The owner of that home will pay about $2,614 in municipal taxes, according to information provided by Madden.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes taxes paid to Monmouth County and to the Upper Freehold Regional School District.

Allentown property owners also pay an open space tax which is expected to generate $87,180 in 2022, according to Madden. The owner of a home assessed at the borough average will pay about $132 in open space taxes in 2022.

The amount of taxes a property owner pays is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is established by each taxing entity.

In other news, no residents filed a nominating petition to run for a seat on the Borough Council in 2022 as a Democrat or as a Republican. The filing deadline was April 4 for the June 7 primary election. There will be two three-year Allentown council terms on the November ballot.

Residents who want to run for a seat on the council as an independent candidate have until June 7 to file a nominating petition.

The council terms currently held by Martha Johnson and Dan Payson will end on Dec. 31.

Payson ran as an independent candidate in 2019 and was elected to his first term, joining the council in January 2020. He said he has not filed paperwork yet to seek a second term.

Johnson ran as an independent candidate in 2019 and was elected to her first term, joining the council in January 2020. She could not be reached for comment regarding her plans for this year’s election.

The terms held by Elder and DeKranes will end on Dec. 31, 2023 and the terms held by Drennan and Darling will end on Dec. 31, 2024.

Mayor Thomas Fritts’ current term will end on Dec. 31, 2023.

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