FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2017
Monroe Council Introduces Budget with Zero Increase Tax Rate
MONROE – Residents will see no increase in the municipal portion of their 2017 tax bill, after the Township Council introduced a $56.15 million budget with a flat tax rate Monday evening.
If adopted, the proposed budget would maintain the previous year’s tax rate of 45.7 cents per $100 of assessed value. For a homeowner with a residence assessed at the Township average of $312,219, that translates to an annual municipal tax bill of $1,428.
In addition to ensuring a stable tax rate, Monroe has facilitated no increases for residential water and sewer services for the 26th consecutive year.
After factoring in the fire districts, the library, the school district and Middlesex County, the municipal tax rate in Monroe accounts for 20 percent of a Township resident’s total property taxes.
“Our positive record of achievement is primarily due to a concerted and ongoing effort by residents, employees, volunteers and members of our boards and commissions, who work together for the betterment of the community,” said Monroe Mayor Gerald. W. Tamburro. “Monroe continues to offer unrivaled services, superior schools and one of the safest communities in the state, all while securing one of the lowest tax rates in the County.”
One of the largest capital expenses in Township’s proposed 2017 budget includes a $2.5 million purchase of land in the southern portion of Monroe, which will be turned over to the school district in exchange for $1 in the coming months. The parcel is being considered as a future home of an additional freestanding Township middle school.
Other major capital improvements in the proposed budget include pedestrian and road enhancements along Monmouth Road, park and ride improvements, design of a public safety complex, equipment for police, EMS and Public Works, as well as series of new paving projects.
“We here in Monroe understand the importance of capital improvements,” Mayor Tamburro said. “In recent years, we budgeted for traffic signals at Perrineville and Federal roads and at Matchaponix and Spotwood Gravel Hill roads, renovations to the Prospect Plains Road soccer complex and lighting upgrades at our library’s parking lot. These are important facets when considering our residents’ safety and quality of life.”
Despite its careful planning, Monroe has been facing declining municipal and school state aid for eight years now, not to mention a statewide homestead rebate program that passed along dramatic cuts and shrinking reimbursement checks to a broad base of residents. The state’s annual reduction over the past seven years has cut the average homestead rebate from approximately $1,200 to $500 per qualified household.
“The homestead benefit program, enacted almost four decades ago by New Jersey legislators, was intended to provide some measure of tax relief to the State’s homeowners,” said Monroe Business Administrator Alan Weinberg. “While many people once leveraged this program to offset their yearly property taxes, it’s become a highly insecure safety net for our residents. As always, we are seeking County and State grants to help alleviate some of the burdens being placed on our taxpayers. ”
Monroe Township Council members are expected to adopt the final budget at their May 1 meeting.
For further details, contact Monroe Township’s Public Information Officer Maria Prato at 732-521-4400 or email@example.com.