In fulfillment of the requirements of the Faulkner Act, I am submitting the 2017 Municipal Budget recommendations. I would like to thank the Business Administrator, his staff and all Department Heads for their efforts in formulating the annual budget.
For the eighth consecutive year, Municipal and School State Aid is continuing at a reduced level from the State of New Jersey. New Jersey Homestead Rebates are also continuing at a significantly reduced level.
Our tax collection rate was a superior 98.89% in 2016. We are achieving our goal of reducing our reliance on Utility Surplus Revenue by anticipating $1,000,000 less than used in 2016. For the eighth consecutive year, we were at or below the 2% tax levy cap.
The proposed Municipal Budget totals $56,150,367.66. As a result, the municipal tax rate is $.457 per $100 assessed value. There will be no increase in the municipal tax rate in 2017 due to good budget planning. For a home with the average assessed value of $312,219., the annual municipal purposes taxes will total $1,428.03 (not including School, County, Fire Districts or Library taxes).
For the 26th consecutive year, there will be no increase in non-irrigation residential water & sewer rates, which remain among the lowest in Central New Jersey.
The 2017 Municipal Tax, which is the only portion of property taxes that are under the direct control of the Mayor & Council, is estimated at 20% of your total property taxes. The Board of Education makes up the largest portion of property taxes at 56%; the County at 18%; and the Fire Districts at 6%.
The largest 2017 capital improvement funding request is a request for $2.5 million for the Township to purchase privately-owned land for the proposed construction of a new public school building. The Board of Education has identified a property that meets their needs. The Board of Education is fearful of this property slipping out of their hands (if they have to wait and go to a referendum); so the Township is proposing we fund and purchase the land and sell it to the Board of Education for $1 this summer.
Other noteworthy capital improvement projects include a Monmouth Road pedestrian improvement project, continuing design work for a new Police/EMS building and our annual paving program.
Projects funded last year that will be underway in 2017 include: traffic signals at Perrineville and Federal and Matchaponix and Spotswood Gravel Hill Road, soccer complex improvements at Prospect Plains Road and the Library parking lot lighting improvements.
Monroe Township remains one of the premier residential communities in Central New Jersey with a beautiful and green landscape. We are very proud of our quality municipal services and schools. We are consistently recognized as one of the safest towns in New Jersey. Furthermore, Monroe Township remains only one of two communities in Middlesex County with a population density of less than 1,000 people per square mile. With continuing open space acquisitions to expand our existing 6,600 acres of open space and over 1,300 acres of farmland preservation, Monroe Township continues to work toward its goal of 50% undeveloped land in our community.
Our positive record of achievement is primarily due to a continued effort of everyone working together in a united way for the betterment of our Township – residents, employees and volunteers who serve on our boards & agencies and provide dedicated service to all of our residents.
Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro
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