Eatontown officials adopt $26.25M municipal budget for 2019

EATONTOWN – The members of the Eatontown Borough Council have adopted a $26.25 million budget to fund the operation of the municipality in 2019.

During a Borough Council meeting on May 22, council President Patricia May Kelly, Councilman Al Baginsky, Councilwoman Jasmine Story, Councilwoman Jennifer Sherrod, Councilman Gregory Loxton and Councilwoman Tonya Rivera voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the spending plan.

Borough Auditor Robert Oliwa said an amendment, which was approved that evening, to the introduced budget would increase the spending plan by $23,000. He did not specify how the additional funds would be appropriated.

“The amount is offset by $20,000 from grant revenue and an increase in anticipation of delinquent tax revenues,” Oliwa said, adding that the municipal tax rate “will remain the same for the third year in a row … That was attained through the use of our strong surplus.”

Baginsky asked Oliwa to describe the “tax burden” on the average homeowner in Eatontown.

Oliwa said if a home remains at its 2018 assessed value, there will be no increase in taxes at the municipal level. He said the “local (municipal) burden” would be $2,409 in taxes for a home assessed at $300,000.

For that same home, he said, “The county portion (taxes) would be $942. The regional school taxes (Monmouth Regional High School District) would be $1,311. The local school taxes (Eatontown Public Schools) would be $2,271. Overall … it would be $6,933.”

In 2018, the municipal budget totaled $25.8 million and was supported through the collection of $17.75 million in taxes from Eatontown’s residential and commercial property owners.

Eatontown’s municipal tax rate in 2018 was 80.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at the borough average of $335,000 paid about $2,690 in municipal taxes.

In 2019, the municipal budget totals $26.25 million and will be supported through the collection of $18.2 million in taxes from the borough’s residential and commercial property owners.

The municipal tax rate is projected to remain at 80.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation in 2019. The average home is now assessed at $349,000 and the owner of that home will pay about $2,802 in municipal taxes this year.

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 (municipality, county and school districts).

Significant appropriations in the 2019 Eatontown budget include group health insurance, $3.38 million; police salaries and wages, $5.91 million; Road Repair and Maintenance, Salaries and Wages, $1.98 million; Monmouth County Reclamation Center fees, $275,000; payment to the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of New Jersey, $1.28 million; and Borough Community Center, Salaries and Wages, $251,696.