HAZLET – The Township Committee has adopted a $21.07 million budget to fund the operation of Hazlet during 2019.
Mayor Scott Aagre, Deputy Mayor Michael Glackin, Committeeman Michael Sachs, Committeeman James McKay and Committeeman Tara Corcoran-Clark voted to adopt this year’s spending plan during a recent meeting.
No member of the governing body commented on the budget upon its adoption.
Prior to the committee’s vote, Business Administrator Dennis Pino presented the details of the 2019 budget to the committee and members of the public in attendance that evening.
“We had key goals this year. It was important for (officials) to change some of the ways we have performed in the past,” Pino said.
He said Hazlet’s officials plan to demonstrate fiscal responsibility in new ways; maintain a stable and flat municipal tax rate for residents; upgrade municipal assets and infrastructure; improve public outreach; and promote public safety.
“There is no municipal tax increase whatsoever, period, done,” Pino said. “The budget sustains all the municipal services as we had them in 2018. In fact, we will have increased services (in 2019).”
Pino said officials and department heads will better use technology and said “24/7 online services and mobile connectivity” will be available.
Pino said funding initiatives are underway to sustain the cost of a long-term road improvement program that was introduced in 2018 and projected to cost about $30 million. He said the budget initiates capital funding.
Finally, he said “the best part” of the budget is the reinstatement of school resource officers in Hazlet schools.
“In this day and time, (police officers) are needed,” Pino said.
In 2018, Hazlet’s budget totaled $21.07 million and was supported by the collection of $14.22 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners. Other revenues included $2.45 million from surplus funds (savings) and $4.09 million in miscellaneous revenues.
In 2019, the budget totals $21.07 million and will be supported through the collection of $14.26 million in taxes from residential and commercial property owners. Other revenues include $2.45 million from surplus funds and $3.96 million in miscellaneous revenues.
According to municipal officials, significant appropriations in the 2019 budget include Operating Expenses – Salaries and Wages, $8.19 million; Operating Expenses – Other Expenses, $9.69 million; capital improvements, $527,163; debt service, $1.45 million; and the reserve for uncollected taxes, $1.08 million.
In 2018, Hzlet’s municipal tax rate was 58.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the township average of $313,636 paid about $1,828 in municipal taxes.
In 2019, the average home in Hazlet is assessed at $325,550. At the time the budget was adopted, municipal officials could not say what the 2019 municipal tax rate would be or how much the owner of a home assessed at the township average would pay in municipal taxes.
Chief Financial Officer Marie Pardo said the adopted budget would be submitted to the Monmouth County Board of Taxation, which will certify a municipal tax rate.
Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill. Hazlet property owners also pay Hazlet Township Public Schools taxes and Monmouth County taxes.
The amount an individual pays in property taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.