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Eatontown Municipal Budget Calls For Tax Increase For First Time In Years

EATONTOWN: The borough will see a local tax increase for the first time in a few years, based on the 2017 municipal which was introduced by the borough council on March 22.

Based on the preliminary assessments, the tax rate would 80.4 cents per $100 of assessed value, an increase of 1.5 cents over the 2016 rate. The amount to be raised by local taxes to support the 2017 budget is up about $408,000 or 2.38 percent over the 2016 level for a total of $17,537,796.

The owner of a home valued at the borough average of $300,000 will see a $45 increase on their tax bill.

Borough Auditor Robert Oliwa said this will be the first municipal tax increase since 2014.

Oliwa explained that the municipal budget of about $24 million covers about 30 percent of the total tax bill with the local school, regional school and county taxes making up the remainder. In 2016, the total tax rate was $2.18, with municipal portion totaling 36 percent, with a total tax levy of over $47 million.

"We don't know what the total 2017 tax levy will be, this is just one component," Oliwa said.

He said the borough should hold off on the final adoption of the budget until May, because there are still pending tax appeals that could influence the tax rate. However, the council will still hold a public hearing on the budget in April.

Residential assessments went up about $10 million and commercial assessments went up $3.3 million.

"We are in the first year of our five-year revaluation, so we're already seeing some of those results," Councilman Anthony Talerico said.

The borough is taking some money from its surplus account to help keep the budget increase as low as possible.

"What the borough is planning on using in this budget is surplus revenue from that $3.2 million of $2,750,000. It's an increase of about $100,000 to keep this tax rate increase to a proposed 1.5 cents," Oliwa said.

Some of the biggest increases in the budget are residential solid waste collection, pension billings, police salary and wages and court salaries and wages in anticipation of the borough either entering into a new shared services agreement with another town or holding court in the Eatontown municipal building once again.

There were also some decreases in anticipated revenues such as delinquent taxes and municipal court revenue.

"The borough can only anticipate items of revenue that are received in cash in 2016," Oliwa explained.


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