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Howell council sets May 10 for hearing on $55.56 million budget

HOWELL — The  Howell Township Council has unanimously introduced a 2022 municipal budget that totals $55.56 million. Officials set May 10 as the date for a public hearing on the spending plan. Residents may comment on the budget at that time.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Pamela Richmond, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Suzanne Brennan and Councilwoman Evelyn O’Donnell voted to introduce the budget at the April 5 council meeting.

The 2022 budget will be supported by the collection of $30.28 million in a local tax levy to be paid by Howell’s residential and commercial property owners. Officials will appropriate $4.86 million from surplus funds (savings) to be used as revenue in the budget.

Municipal officials said that in the $55.56 million budget, $25.3 million will be appropriated to salaries; $24.9 million will be appropriated to non-discretionary other expenses; and $4.7 million will be appropriated to discretionary other expenses.

In 2021, council members adopted a $55.45 million budget that was supported by the collection of a $29.2 million local tax levy. Officials appropriated $7.28 million from the surplus fund to be used as revenue in the budget.

From 2021 to 2022, total appropriations have increased by $100,000 and the tax levy has increased by $1.08 million.

In 2021, Howell’s municipal tax rate was 38.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home was assessed at $371,527 and the owner of that home paid about $1,434 in municipal taxes (0.386 x 3,715).

In 2022, Howell’s municipal tax rate is projected to decrease to 35.82 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The average home is now assessed at $416,890 and the owner of that home will pay about $1,493 in municipal taxes (0.3582 x 4,168).

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill. Property owners also pay Howell K-8 School District taxes, Freehold Regional High School District taxes, a fire district tax and Monmouth County taxes.

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

A decrease in the municipal tax rate – such as is occurring in Howell this year – does not necessarily mean an individual will see a decrease in the municipal property taxes he pays.

Selected appropriations in the 2022 budget include the following: employee group health benefits, $3.33 million; police, salaries and wages, $11.55 million, police, other expenses, $608,071; emergency medical services, salaries and wages, $955,839; public works, road maintenance, salaries and wages, $2.49 million; Public Employees’ Retirement System, $1.28 million; Social Security System, $1.75 million; Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey, $3.72 million; payment of bond principal, $4.56 million; and interest on bonds, $1.35 million.

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