With the cost of living in New Jersey increasing with each new tax law signed by Governor Phil Murphy, one mayor in Ocean County is bucking the trend, announcing today that his town will not see a tax increase this year.
BERKELEY – Mayor Carmen F. Amato, Jr., presented the 2019 Municipal Budget to the Berkeley Council at it’s March 25th meeting.
The Mayor announced the municipal tax rate in the introduced budget has NO INCREASE.
The municipal tax rate will remain the same at .6460 of $100.00 of assessed valuation as in 2018.
“This is the third municipal budget in the last five years that had no municipal tax increase for our homeowners. The 2019 introduced Budget is under the State mandated 2% Levy Cap (Amount to be raised by taxation cap) by $5,301,015.00.” Mayor Amato said.
The total municipal tax amount on an Average Assessed Single Family home of $201,200.00 is $1,299.72 for the year, which covers all current municipal services, replacement of equipment and infrastructure improvements.
The Municipal portion of the overall tax bill is about 30%. Of which, 70% of the remaining overall tax bill is the Schools and County portion.
The total amount of the 2019 introduced Budget is $47,046,044.36 compared to the 2018 final Budget of $46,716,487.43. That reflects an increase of only $329,556.93 or a 0.71% increase over the 2018 final Budget. The introduced Budget is under the State mandated 2% spending cap by $3,262,807.99.
The increase in the overall budget reflects contractual obligations and debt service. The Operations and Expenditures in the introduced budget are once again frozen at 2018 levels.
“This budget emphasis remains on long range financial stability, continued public infrastructure improvements and our continuing commitment to provide the important services that our residents have come to expect.” Mayor Amato said.
A 2018, an analysis was conducted by nj.com that Berkeley Township has the 27th lowest OVERALL property taxes in the entire STATE of NEW JERSEY and 2nd lowest OVERALL property taxes in all of OCEAN COUNTY.
“I want thank the members of Township Council who have worked with me to keep costs down. The State of New Jersey has 565 communities and we are the 27th lowest. The average Berkeley Township homeowner pays less than half of the statewide average property tax bill. That is a significant accomplishment we all can be proud of.” Mayor Amato said.
“I’m also pleased that my Administration has received two bond upgrades. In 2015, the rating service Standards & Poor’s increased Berkeley’s bond rating two notches from “A-” to “A+” and last year, moved us up another notch to “AA-“. The increase in rating affirms our stable financial outlook and is based on the Township’s strong budgetary performance, flexibility and very strong liquidity. It is gratifying that S&P has recognized the extreme effort we have made to be financially responsive to our taxpayers despite these difficult economic times. We are very proud to have received two bond upgrades in three years.” Mayor Amato said.
“Considering what we’ve endured in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy and the resulting loss of ratables and downturn in the local economy, I am really proud of what we’ve done to keep Berkeley Township an affordable place to live for our hard working families and seniors living on fixed incomes while making significant improvements to our infrastructure.” Mayor Amato said.