The average Neptune property owner will see an almost $40 drop in their 2019 municipal taxes under a budget adopted by the Township Committee this week.
“We have worked hard each year to maintain a stable budget,” Township CFO Michael Bascom said during his presentation on the budget.
But Bascom warned that the budget will continue to grow if state aid contributions to not increase. He said state aid to Neptune has been frozen at $4,997,454 for several years.
“It should be well over $10 million by now. The budget will continue to grow until state aid comes into compliance,” Bascom said.
The total $45,056,166 budget, with a $30,231,646 tax levy, or the amount to be raised through taxation, is up slightly from last year’s $44,668,204 total, which had a $29,638,869 tax levy. However, even with the slight overall increase, the average homeowner will pay $39.97 less in municipal taxes than last year.
“The slight increase in the budget and tax levy are due to getting a little less in grants and increased police pension costs but the township’s growing tax base is the reason for the reduction in the tax rate,” Chief Financial Officer Michael Bascom said.
The municipal-purpose tax rate is dropping from 75.9 cents to 74.7 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation, with the average home assessed at $326,950.
“The tax rate went down a little last year as well,” Bascom said.
The governing body applied $2,595,000 in surplus to offset expenses, the same amount as last year. Almost $1 million remains in surplus. The tax collections rate is at 98.6 percent.
The largest portion of the budget, or 28 percent, goes to support police and public safety. Public works is the next-highest cost.