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Manalapan Township Committee adopts $39M budget for 2022

MANALAPAN – The Township Committee has adopted a $39.51 million budget to fund the operation of Manalapan during 2022.

The budget was adopted during a meeting on June 1. Mayor Susan Cohen, Deputy Mayor Mary Ann Musich, Committeeman Eric Nelson, Committeeman Barry Jacobson and Committeeman Jack McNaboe voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget.

According to a budget document posted on the township’s website, the 2022 spending plan will be supported by a tax levy of $25.85 million to be collected from Manalapan’s residential and commercial property owners.

Manalapan is made up of 92.24% residential taxpayers and 6.1% commercial taxpayers, Township Administrator Tara Lovrich said during a previous presentation regarding the budget.

Municipal officials will appropriate $4.05 million from the township’s surplus fund (savings) to be used as revenue in the budget. Manalapan will receive $3.87 million in state aid for 2022. State aid has remained flat from 2021, Lovrich said.

The township will receive $1.24 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to be used for road improvements, according to the budget.

Lovrich said the 2022 municipal budget includes funding for road improvements, buildings and grounds projects, park improvements, equipment purchases, trash and recycling collection and disposal, and branch and brush removal.

Garbage is collected once per week and recyclable items are collected twice per month. Those services are paid through a property owner’s municipal taxes.

Lovrich said garbage collection will cost $2.38 million in 2022. The cost of garbage collection has increased 42% during the past five years, she said.

Lovrich said recycling disposal will cost $2 million in 2022. The cost of recycling disposal has increased 33% during the past five years, she said.

No one from the public commented on the budget when given the opportunity to do so.

The Township Committee members thanked Lovrich, Chief Financial Officer/Director of Finance Patricia Addario and their staffs for developing the budget during the past few months.

Manalapan’s 2019 budget totaled $34.49 million and was supported by a tax levy of $22.96 million.

Manalapan’s 2020 budget totaled $34.91 million and was supported by a tax levy of $23.54 million.

Manalapan’s 2021 budget totaled $36.98 million and was supported by a tax levy of $25.18 million,

In 2021, the average home in Manalapan was assessed at $460,978, the municipal tax rate was 35.1 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and the owner of that home paid about $1,618 in municipal taxes.

In 2022, the average home in Manalapan is assessed at $543,388, the municipal tax rate is projected to decrease to 30.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and the owner of that home will pay about $1,668 in municipal taxes.

Lovrich said 31% of residents will see no increase in their municipal taxes in 2022 and 24% of residents will see a municipal tax increase of $50 or less in 2022.

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

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

During her presentation of the 2022 budget, Lovrich said for every $1 in taxes a Manalapan property owner pays, 17% (i.e., 17 cents) goes to the township; 14% (14 cents) goes to Monmouth County; 46% (46 cents) goes to the Manalapan-Englishtown Regional School District; 20% (20 cents) goes to the Freehold Regional High School District; 2% (2 cents) goes to a municipal fire district; and 1% (1 cent) goes to municipal open space.

Selected appropriations in Manalapan’s 2022 budget include the following line items: police salaries and wages, $8.18 million; employee group insurance, $4.06 million; payments to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey, $2.25 million; payment of bond principal, $1.88 million; streets and roads, salaries and wages, $1.87 million; payment to Social Security System, $990,000; payment to the Public Employees’ Retirement System, $775,285; and interest on bonds, $676,400.

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