The 2016 Ocean Township municipal budget, which calls for no tax increase, was unanimously adopted by the Township Council last week.
There was no public comment during the hearing on the budget, which was introduced on March 10. And no public comment is sometimes a good thing, Mayor Christopher Siciliano said.
“It means residents are confident in the budget and we are doing what we promised during the last election campaign- to stabilize the tax rate while not compromising services.
Siciliano said that the township has also added new staff under the budget, including one appointed to the Human Services department and one to the Community Office, which handles planning, zoning and code issues.
“Plus, we were planning to add one new police officer every year and we added two this year, bringing the department to a full complement of 62 officers- and this is a year ahead of schedule,” he said.
The total $35,204,735 budget has a $20,823,733 tax levy, resulting in a stable municipal tax of 49.3 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation. Last year’s budget was $34,734,748 with a $20,668,098 tax levy.
Chief Financial Officer Stephen Gallagher said the budget reflects an increase in anticipated revenues and a cost-savings by sharing some municipal services with the township’s sewerage authority.
The Council applied $6,475,000 in surplus toward the budget, leaving $816,935. The township’s tax collection rate is at 98.65 percent, with a reserve for uncollected taxes at $4,020,933.