Howell council introduces $52.3 million budget for 2019

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HOWELL – Property owners in Howell will pay a total of $2.13 million more in municipal taxes to support the operation of the township in 2019 than they did in 2018.

On April 2, members of the Township Council voted unanimously to introduce a $52.3 million budget for 2019. The budget will be supported by the collection of $28.94 million in taxes from Howell’s residential and commercial property owners.

In 2018, the council adopted a budget that totaled $51.06 million and was supported by the collection of $26.8 million in taxes from Howell’s residential and commercial property owners.

The increase is the tax levy is 7.95 percent, according to municipal officials.

Howell will receive $7.9 million in state aid in 2019, which is the same amount the township received in 2018.

Of the $52.3 million that has been appropriated for 2019, officials said $23.52 million is accounted for in salaries, $24.07 million is accounted for in non-discretionary other expenses and $4.71 million is accounted for in discretionary other expenses.

A public hearing on the 2019 budget has been scheduled for the council’s May 7 meeting. Residents may comment on or ask questions about the budget at that time. The council may adopt the budget that evening.

In 2018, the municipal tax rate was 38.8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the average home in Howell was assessed at $343,544 and the owner of that home paid about $1,332 in municipal taxes.

In 2019, the municipal tax rate is proposed to be 40.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation and officials said the average home assessment has remain unchanged from 2018. The owner of a home assessed at $343,544 will pay about $1,381 in municipal taxes in 2019.

Municipal taxes (approximately 16.1 percent of a property owner’s total taxes) are one item on a tax bill, which also includes Howell K-8 School District taxes (46.76 percent), Freehold Regional High School District taxes (18.63 percent), Monmouth County taxes (12.9 percent), a fire district tax (4.77 percent) and other assessments (0.84 percent).

The amount an individual pays in taxes is based on the assessed value of his home and/or property and the tax rate that has been established by each taxing entity.

The total tax rate in Howell in 2018 was $2.41 per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the township average of $343,544 paid total property taxes of about $8,278.

The value of all ratables in Howell has increased from $6.92 billion in 2018 to $7.2 billion in 2019 (prior to certification), according to a budget presentation. The increase in the township’s value from 2018-19 was $282 million.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman Thomas Russo voted to introduce the budget on April 2.