Township of Monroe

The Mayor's Column

Fiscal Responsibility Leads to No Increase in Municipal Tax Rate

May 01, 2017

 

 

Thanks to careful fiscal management, I am pleased to report that the Township is moving forward with a zero increase in the municipal portion of your 2017 tax bill.  Our Township Council introduced a $56.15 million municipal budget with a flat tax rate April 3.  

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, we have facilitated no increase for residential water and sewer services for the 26th consecutive year.  We’ve also reduced our reliance on the Township utility surplus revenue by approximately $1 million in 2017.

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 your total property tax bill.

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. 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 our 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.  In recent years, we’ve budgeted for traffic signals at Perrineville and Federal roads and at Matchatponix and Spotswood Gravel Hill roads and lighting upgrades at our library’s parking lot.  These are important facets when considering our residents’ safety and quality of life. 

Despite our careful planning, Monroe has faced 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 our 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, which our legislators introduced almost four decades ago, was intended to provide a measure of tax relief for the State’s homeowners.  Unfortunately, many of us depended on this program to offset our yearly property taxes and it’s become a safety net we can no longer depend on.

In response, municipal officials are seeking grant programs to further reduce the burden on our taxpayers.

But again, I am pleased to report that we will not be increasing the municipal portion of your tax bill.  I am very proud of and would like to thank our officials and municipal staff, who worked tirelessly on crafting a budget that serves the best interest of our great community.

 

Previous Columns

Fiscal Responsibility Leads to No Increase in Municipal Tax Rate


Taking The Lead from A Homegrown Leader


A Bittersweet Sendoff for Wayne Hamilton


Grandparent’s Day Out Was A Success


Mayor Tamburro Recognizes Retiring Leaders


Grandparent's Day Out


Community Cares Thanksgiving


Monroe Township Library


Protecting Your Identity


Open Space in Monroe


Recreation Department


Veterans Park Expansion to Open Memorial Day Weekend


Township Continues Water Allocation Purchases


Mayor Gerald W. Tamburro



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