HOWELL – With a unanimous vote, members of the Howell Township Council have adopted the 2022 municipal budget of $55.56 million.
At the May 10 township meeting, Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Pamela Richmond, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Evelyn O’Donnell and Councilwoman Suzanne Brennan voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the budget.
The budget total of $55,562,000 was first introduced during the April 5 meeting and represented a $719,000 increase over the 2021 fiscal year.
A total of $30.28 million in a local tax levy to be paid by Howell’s residential and commercial property owners will be collected to support the 2022 budget. Officials will use $4.86 million from the surplus fund as revenue in the budget this year.
Compared to last year, the spending increased over $100,000 from the 2021 $55.45 million budget, Township Manager Brian Geoghegan said. In addition, the tax levy has increased by $1.08 million.
At the April 5 meeting, Geoghegan outlined the projected 2022 expenditures.
“A significant portion of that is salaries,” Geoghegan explained. In addition to allocating funds for the hiring of five new township employees (two full-time EMTs, one police officer, one laborer and one EMS supervisor), the proposed budget incorporates an increase in township salaries and wages of $640,388 for the new fiscal year, totaling $25,303,961. “That is the single largest part of our budget.”
In addition, $24.9 million will be appropriated to non-discretionary other expenses and $4.7 million will be appropriated to discretionary other expenses.
The spending plan does not include taxes to be levied to fund Howell Township K-8 school district, the Freehold Regional high school district, county levies or fire districts. While the township collects taxes for these entities, they don’t control their spending.
The tax rate will be 38.82 cents per $100 of assessed property value, which is a decrease over the previous year. This was possible due to the current real estate market, which has increased property values 11.84% township wide.
The average home is now assessed at $416,890. Homeowners may see an estimated increase of $58 in the municipal tax levy, using the average home assessment as a guide.
At the May 10 meeting, no residents commented on the budget during the public hearing portion of the meeting.