By DON STINE
Neptune property owners will see no increase in their municipal purpose tax rate in 2017, which will remain steady at 78.5 cents for each $100 of assessed valuation.
The total $43,611,051 budget is only slightly more than last year’s $43,453,556 total budget. The $28,490,084 tax levy, or the amount to be raised through taxation, is about $500,000 less than last year’s $28,992,532 tax levy.
The budget will have a public hearing at the April 10 Township Committee meeting.
Chief Financial Officer Michael Bascom said there is a combination of cost-saving moves that resulted in the stable tax rate, including attrition and replacing retiring workers with new ones who are paid a lower a salary; continuing with health benefit contributions from employees; and cost stabilization by implementing automated garbage pickup and increased recycling efforts.
“An increase in our property value assessments by $90 million, or by 2.56 percent, was also a great help in keeping taxes steady,” he said.
Bascom said that the township is also making the final payments on special emergency bonds issued during clean-up efforts from Superstorm Sandy.
“This will help a lot with next year’s budget,” he said.
The township has also been able to hire more police officers, bringing the department’s complement from 74 to 79 officers.
The governing body applied $2,150,000 in surplus toward this year’s budget.