Jackson council introduces $44.79M municipal budget for 2019

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JACKSON – The Jackson Township Council has introduced a $44.79 million budget to fund the operation of the municipality during 2019.

Council President Robert Nixon, Councilman Ken Bressi, Councilman Alex Sauickie III and Councilman Andrew Kern voted to introduce the budget on March 26. Council Vice President Barry Calogero was absent from the meeting.

A public hearing on the budget has been scheduled for April 23. Residents may comment on and ask questions about the budget at that time. Council members may adopt the budget that evening.

In 2018, the council adopted a budget totaling $44.17 million. Items were subsequently inserted into the budget in accordance with state law that increased the budget to $45.21 million. Chief Financial Officer Sharon Pinkava said there were offsetting revenues for the added appropriations.

The 2018 municipal budget was supported in part by the collection of $32.35 million in taxes from Jackson’s residential and commercial property owners. Officials used $3.7 million from the township’s surplus fund (savings) as revenue in the budget.

The 2018 municipal tax rate was 47.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the average home was assessed at $326,823 and the owner of that home paid about $1,565 in municipal taxes.

In 2019, the $44.79 million municipal budget will be supported in part by the collection of $33 million in taxes from Jackson’s residential and commercial property owners. Officials will use $3.7 million from surplus as revenue in the budget.

The municipal tax rate will increase to 48.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, the average home is assessed at $327,707 and the owner of that home will pay about $1,592 in municipal taxes, according to township officials.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Jackson School District taxes and Ocean County taxes. The amount of property taxes an individual pays is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property and the tax rate that has been set by each taxing entity.

Appropriations in the 2019 budget include the following: police salaries and wages, $12 million; police dispatch/911 salaries and wages, $571,565; other police expenses, $686,146; employee group health insurance, $4.5 million (Jackson spent $4.12 million on employee group health insurance in 2018); legal fees, $495,000 (Jackson spent $423,000 on legal fees in 2018), according to the budget.