MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The Township Committee is expected to introduce a proposed budget today that reflects a nearly $1 million reduction in spending and a continuing commitment to provide core essential government services.
To offset a considerable decrease in revenues, the tax levy is proposed to increase by less than one percent. The proposed change would cost the average Middletown homeowner about $1.57 per month.
“The proposed budget represents an ongoing commitment to protect the quality of core, essential government services such as law enforcement, snow removal, and building inspection,” said Mayor Stephanie Murray. “We will continue to explore ways to further minimize costs and maximize revenues.”
Factors contributing to the proposed change in the tax levy also include substantial costs associated with snow removal and extreme cold in the early part of 2015.
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- Township revenues, which include parking permits and court fees, decreased by $1,514,783 million compared to 2014.
- Snow removal costs for 2015 are $1,268,500 to date.
- Insurance costs have increased $600,000 or 6.5%.
- The Township experiences savings through shared service agreements with other municipalities and the Middletown Board of Education. A recent addition is a shared service agreement with Hazlet for animal control services.
- Significant savings in utility bills continue to be realized as a result of an energy audit, upgrades to lighting and HVAC systems and purchasing natural gas and electric in aggregate as part of a cooperative of government agencies. The energy audit and upgrades were fully funded with grant monies. Overall utility costs are down $223,000 or 6.4 percent.
- The 2015 proposed municipal budget is well below the state-mandated levy cap and remains in full conformance with the state levy cap law.
- The Township budget makes up only approximately 22% of the average property tax bill, the remaining portion relates to the school and county tax levies.
- On average, Middletown Township levy increases have been amongst the lowest in Monmouth County throughout the last decade.