ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - The 2017 municipal budget delivers good news for Borough taxpayers as the tax rate will see a slight decrease for 2017. The municipal purposes tax rate will be .8460 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Mayor Rhonda C. LeGrice said the Borough Council introduced the Atlantic Highlands spending plan of $8,335,706.33 for Municipal purposes at the March 8th Mayor and Council meeting. “We were facing a ¾ penny increase but we directed the Administrator and CFO to find ways to keep the budget flat,” said Mayor LeGrice. The municipal purposes tax rate will be reduced to .8460 cents per $100 of assessed property value, as compared to .8482 in last year's budget.

The owner of a home assessed at $339,400, the Borough’s average, will pay $ 2,871.32 in taxes this year to support the municipal portion of the budget if the council adopts the spending plan next month. That amount is down $7.47 from as last year.

Property taxes paid for municipal purposes help fund services like police, fire, streets, sanitation and recycling collection, code enforcement and overall municipal services.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. on April 12, during the Mayor and Council’s regular monthly meeting.

Administrator Adam Hubeny gave kudos to the Borough team who were involved in the budget process.  He thanked all the Borough’s department heads who came to the table with real numbers; not just wants but true needs. There are several pieces of equipment that will be purchased with cash on hand instead of bonding like a new front end loader which will replaced a 20 plus year old machine. He also thanked last years and this year’s finance committee for working with him and Jerry Gagliano, the Borough’s CFO. When working as a team to achieve the same goals, we can accomplish great things.

Here are some of the budget facts:

·         The amount taxpayers will contribute to the budget is $5,394,788.42, as compared to $5,395,169.06 last year.

·         The budget includes a payment of $2,288,000.00 in debt service appropriation the Borough used to help pay costs related to Superstorm Sandy.

·         Health insurance costs for township employees were $1,205,000 (net of employee contributions), down nearly 2 percent over last year.

·         Pension costs are $611,166 up 4.6 percent.

·         Reserve for uncollected taxes are $248,770.07, up 78 percent from last year.

·         Our Water/Sewer Utility users will see a reduction in their water bill of $120.00 for the year. This was accomplished by paying off the Utility’s Bond Anticipation Note (surcharge) one year early.

·         As in previous years the Harbor Utility will contribute approximately $1,050,000.00 toward the Municipal Tax Rate. The breakdown is $600,000.00 in cash and approximately $450,000.00 in shared services.