Loch Arbour and Allenhurst Eyeing A Merger
The Asbury Park Sun reports that the Village of Loch Arbour is moving forward with its plan to seek a merger with its neighbor to the north, the Borough of Allenhurst.
Loch Arbour is .1 square mile and home to 196 people, according to the 2010 U.S. census. The metropolis of Allenhurst in three times the size of of Loch Arbour by land mass, but has a much lower population density of 496 residents per the most recent census. Should the towns merge, they would form a municipality just south of Deal, the 1.3 square mile borough that is home to 750 year round residents.
Loch Arbour has a municipal budget of $1,243,058. That’s $6,342 per capita or $25,368 per family of four. Allenhurst’s municipal budget in $4,344,268; $8,760 per capita.
Obviously, it is not municipal spending that is prompting the 196 Loch Arbourians to give up their sovereignty. It is school spending.
Loch Arbour sends its 20 school age children to the Ocean Township Schools. The Corzine administration invalidated a school funding agreement between Loch Arbour and Ocean Township that was worth about $300,000 per year. The new formula required Loch Arbour to pay school taxes based upon their property values. That $300K became $1.6 million. Allenhurst sends it school kids to the Asbury Park school system, an Abbott District that the entire state subsidizes. If the merger goes through, property taxes in Loch Arbour will fall from an average of about $24,000 per home to less than $9000. Not bad, relative to property taxes throughout the rest of the state, for homes valued at over $1.4 million on average.Posted: April 22nd, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Property Taxes | Tags: Allenhurst, Asbury Park Sun, Corzine, Deal, Loch Arbour | 10 Comments »
Christie Administration continuing McGreevey/Corzine practice of keeping utilities monies intended for municipalities.
Lost in the hysteria of Democrats fighting with each other was news buried on page 3 of yesterday’s Asbury Park Press that actually affects your property taxes.
The Editorial Board of the Monmouth and Ocean Counties paper of record actually met with local mayors! Call that progress. MMM criticised the APP editorial board last month for sitting down with Newark Mayor Cory Booker for no reason other than to boost Booker’s statewide name ID when they, until yesterday, hardly, if ever, meet with local mayors.
Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore and Long Branch Mayor Adam Schneider met with the Neptune Nudniks on Wednesday, at the behest of the League of Municipalities. The mayors’ purpose was to bring attention to the State’s decades old practice of keeping the energy receipts tax that public utilities pay.
In energy receipts tax has been in existence for decades. It was originally set up in lieu of property taxes to compensate municipalities for the utility infrastructure rights of way. The tax used to be broken out on your utility bill. It was paid by the utilities directly to the municipalities.
In 2002, during the McGreevey administration, the State started collecting to tax. We all know what happens to money when to goes to the black whole of Trenton for redistribution. Much of it disappears and the intended recipients get shafted. Think Unemployment Insurance Fund and Transportation Trust Fund.
Fiore told MMM that the League sued McGreevey to get the money but the State just turned around a reduced State Aid by a commensurate amount.
Fiore, Schneider and the League now want that money back. It’s not coming, according to what State Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff told the APP, “At this time we do not have the financial flexibility to make discretionary adjustment” to provide more from energy taxes.
Fiore told MMM that the energy receipts tax would have provided $4 million dollars to Middletown Township in 2011. That would have saved the Library surplus the Township relied on, prevented layoffs and cleaned up a few snow storms.
What burns Fiore is not just the $4 million that Middletown didn’t collect from the utilities. It’s the $1.5 million hit the Township continues to take in reduced State Aid from 2009 levels. “We wouldn’t be increasing property taxes 1.97% this year if our Aid was restored,” said Fiore, “give us our $1.5 million back and I can reduce taxes by 2%. The Board of Education got all of their Aid restored, yet they are still raising taxes.”
Schneider told the APP that not receiving the energy receipts tax is costing Long Branch “several million dollars.”Posted: March 30th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: New Jersey State Budget, Property Taxes | Tags: Adam Schneider, Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, Christie, Corzine, Energy receipts tax, League of Municipalities, Long Branch, McGreevey, Middletown, Property Taxes, public utilities, Tony Fiore | 1 Comment »