Monmouth Freeholders Introduce $487.35M County Budget

Tax levy in 2012 spending plan will be held at $302,475,000 for third year.

Monmouth County’s proposed 2012 budget will hold a flat tax levy and reduce the overall spending plan by .

The county’s Director of Finance Craig R. Marshall outlined the $487,350,000 million budget during Thursday’s freeholder meeting at the building in Freehold Borough. The governing body introduced the spending plan by a unanimous vote.

“We’ve been in cost-saving mode since the beginning of 2008 and made drastic changes in these unprecedented economic times. We’ve continued to provide a high level of service to the taxpayers of this county that they have come to expect,” Marshall said.

The county has reduced its workforce and pursued additional revenue streams to combat shrinking ratables, according to the finance director. The ratable base fell for the third straight year to $116.1 billion in 2012 from a high in 2009 of $129 billion, Marshall said. The county expanded shared services, including offering the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office’s 9-1-1 service to municipalities, to increase revenue, Marshall said.

While the 2012 budget includes no layoffs, the county will continue a hiring freeze for non-essential positions, evaluating whether a vacant job can be eliminated by attrition or the assigned duties spread out among the existing workforce, according to Marshall. Monmouth County issued no new bond ordinances or bond sales in 2011, resulting in a $182,267 decrease in debt service to $50,670,738 in 2012.

While the tax levy in the 2012 budget remains $302,475,000 for the third straight year, the county tax rate will rise 3.5 percent from 25.16 cents per $100 of assessed value in 2011 to 26.06 cents in 2012.

However, Marshall and Monmouth County Tax Administrator Matthew S. Clark emphasized that an increase in tax rate does not necessarily correspond with a tax increase in the way a rise in a municipal tax rate would. The county portion of a resident’s tax bill will vary from town to town, year by year depending on changes in market value of property in a municipality, Clark explained.

“Member municipalities pay a percentage based on what they represent of the total value. So if a town represents five percent of the total value, they will pay five percent of the tax levy,” Clark said. “The county tax rate is technically an apportionment rate and it’s a rate that’s used in assigning the percentage of the levy to an individual town. It’s not the rate that anybody sees on their tax bill.”

Clark recommended the county draft a document detailing the changes in the tax rate for each of its 53 municipalities during next year’s budget cycle.

Monmouth County will hold two public hearings on the proposed budget before the freeholder board votes on a final spending plan. The first budget presentation will take place Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. at in Manalapan. A second hearing will be held on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. at in Shrewsbury. The adoption vote on the 2012 budget is scheduled for Thursday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at .

Dentss Dunnagun February 24, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I guess this explains why Monmouth co asked Little Silver to do a property reassessment ,which I thought odd simply because the town had a price ratio of 77%...once towns drop below 50% then county the forces a reassessment .The most troubling part is there were NO tax appeals last year ....
Oscar Wilde February 25, 2012 at 03:15 AM
ONE HALF A BILLION DOLLARS.......THATS WITH A B as in Bitch..... Property Tax Revolt is the only answer at this point in time.............
Sal February 25, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Our county government has been under the control of Republican politicians for over 2 decades___and year after year our county taxes have increased. I mistakenly thought that Republican politicians stood for Less Spending and Less taxing___but unfortunately for us all that is not the case in Monmouth County. They need to Wake up and Face Race reality_____the taxpayers are CUTTING back on their spending and the County must also cut back each year through attrition and freeze ALL hiring and instead just move existing employees to positions where they are most needed. Ever Higher Property taxes is a Big Part of why foreclosures are increasing and property values are falling. In most cases property taxes are about 1/2 of the monthly mortgage payments our fellow citizens are desperately struggling to make.
Robert Way February 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Sal, your claim here is not supported by fact. Since 2001, the tax levy yhte County has imposed on Holmdel has remain dead flat for all intensive purposes. It was $10.29M in 2001 and in 2011 was $10.81M. Over that same time period, the County tax levy has gone from representing 20.83% of out individual tax bill to 14.36%. As another matter of fact, in 1989 the County tax levy represented 27.83% of a homeowner's tax bill in Holmdel. The result of our tax increases over the last decade are soley because of an increase in both Local Municipal and Local School District spending. That is not speculation or rhetoric, it is fact. I pulled all the data from the Monmouth County Open Records system and aggregated them in the second spreadsheet i Used to support my Opinion piece about the Lucent Tract posted here http://patch.com/A-qKmr Do I want even less of a tax levy from the County, absolutely, do I want more transparency in understanding what I get for that besides maintenance on County Roads, absolutely on that as well. I agree with with your desire wholeheartedly that spending should be cut when possible but your claim that County Taxes, more specifically the tax levy they impose on Holmdel, has gone up year over year like you say it has is just not true.
Jeff Rossi February 25, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Perhaps it's time again for the county to inventory all of the take home cars used by county employees and county property rentals to employees. While we're at it, audit golf course perks for employees. I'm sure there is plenty of waste that can be identified. I know the sheriff had done some good work with outsourcing corrections costs. Let's tighten the belt.


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