The Middletown Township Committee will introduce a budget on Monday night that reduces Township spending by $161,459 and reduces the municipal tax rate by 3.49%
“We’ve taken a fine tooth comb to this budget in order to develop a spending plan that reduces costs without sacrificing core essential services,” said Mayor Gerry Scharfenberger, Ph.D. “We consistently seek ways to further minimize costs, maximize revenues and stretch a dollar.”
For the average homeowner, municipal taxes will decrease $5.31 this year.
Key Budget Facts, according to a statement from the Township:
- Insurance costs, primarily health insurance, have increased by $320,000 or 3.12 %.
- The snow budget has been decreased by $180,000 thanks to a milder winter.
- Stable fuel prices means a $100,000 reduction in this year’s budget fuel budget.
- The Township realizes savings through a variety of shared service agreements with other municipalities, the Middletown Board of Education, and Monmouth County. A recent addition is a shared service agreement with Fair Haven for services provided by the Chief Financial Officer, the Tax Collector and the Qualified Purchasing Agent.
- The 2017 proposed municipal budget is, once again, well below the state-mandated levy cap and remains in full conformance with the state levy cap law.
- The Township budget makes up only approximately 21% of the average property tax bill, the remaining portion relates to the school and county tax levies.
- On average, Middletown Township’s annual tax levy increases have been minimal; amongst the lowest in Monmouth County throughout the last decade. The Township Committee is pleased to report a tax decrease in FY 2017.
“Since my first day on the Township Committee, I have worked with my Republican colleagues and administration to cut spending and increase efficiency,” said Committeeman Tony Fiore. “In that time we have delivered some of the smallest increases in decades despite continued rising costs and headwinds from Trenton. Today we prove that a well run municipality in New Jersey can make major investments in our future while cutting taxes without sacrificing services or quality of life. I am extremely proud to support this budget and will continue to work diligently to always put the interests of our residents and taxpayers first.”
Among the ‘major investments’ that Fiore referred is a new municipal complex/town hall and renovations to the Johnson Annex, a contract for which is expected to be awarded this spring.
“Actually reducing property taxes in New Jersey is a rare occurrence,” said Deputy Mayor Stephanie Murray. “I’m very happy and proud of my colleagues and our staff. With Monmouth County introducing a budget with a 0% increase, Middletown taxpayers can see a real reduction this year. It would be fantastic if the Middletown Board of Education could bring in their budget with a reduction too.”