Jackson Council Adopts 2020 Budget

Jackson Town Hall (Photo by Micromedia Publications)

  JACKSON – Township Officials adopted their $47.5 million general fund budget that will raise taxes on the average home by $21.

  Township Business Administrator Terence Wall said “Jackson is in a fantastic place financially.” The budget calls for a tax levy increase of 1.95% and $33.6 million to be raised by property taxes. Residential and commercial property owners in the township will pay a total of $645,086 more in municipal taxes in 2020 than they did in 2019.

  The municipal tax rate has been projected for 2020 to be 49.2 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home is assessed at $328,520 and the owner of that home will pay about $1,617 in municipal taxes. This is an increase of $21.02 this year.

  Wall previously described the township as being “ahead of the curve on the 2020 budget, especially in light of the global pandemic.”

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He noted that the 2019 budget expenditures that were expected to be $44.7 million actually came in lower at $42.6 million. He added that township revenues exceeded expectations by nearly $1.7 million.

  Wall explained this was due in part to increased interest on investments and deposits, fees and permits, and housing fees.

  In 2019, the council adopted a $44.79 million budget that was supported by the collection of $33 million in taxes from Jackson’s residential and commercial property owners. The governing body used $3.7 million from its surplus fund (savings) as revenue in the budget.

  Last year’s municipal tax rate was 48.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The average home was assessed at $327,707 and the owner of that home paid about $1,593 in municipal taxes.

  In 2020, the $44.85 million budget will be supported by the collection of $33.6 million in taxes from Jackson’s residential and commercial property owners. Around $4.8 million from the surplus fund will be used as revenue in the spending plan.

  The amount of property taxes an individual will pay is determined by the assessed value of their home and/or property and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

  Wall told the council that at the end of 2019, the township came in under budget by more than $2.8 million. He said the administration would continue to work hard to try and come in under budget in 2020.

  Last year’s revenue figures showed Jackson’s miscellaneous revenue exceeded the budget totals by $973,538.42 due to interest on investments and deposits, an increase in fees and permits an increase in Housing Fees.

  Unanticipated revenue was $720,870.89 and due to off duty surcharge, rental registration and tower rental fees.

  Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s tax bill, which also includes Jackson School District taxes and Ocean County taxes. By law, the town collects all taxes and then doles it out to the other taxing entities.

  A review of the entire estimated property tax bill for a Jackson resident includes: $96,572,578.90 for the local school district, $33,646,396.96 represents the municipal purpose tax while the county purpose tax is $32,536,196.20.

  The Fire District (total levies) represents $6,976,723.96 while municipal open space is $1,366,659.05.

  Councilman Alex Sauickie reminded residents that the township was not responsible for all the parts of the tax bill “but we are responsible for collecting it.”

  Wall ran a PowerPoint presentation during the meeting to illustrate and compare the financial figures of 2018, 2019 and those predicted for this year as well as the breakdown of each portion of a taxpayer’s bill. Wall also noted the township’s bond rating as being higher than the state of New Jersey.

  Councilman Andrew Kern noted that the township was still committed to open space preservation and as open parcels were identified for purchase consideration their inclusion would be considered.

  Wall added that the township would partner would landowners and the state concerning such projects.

  The Business Administrator noted that the township had worked to accommodate residents in updating services such as implementing an online permitting application process. “There are resolutions on the agenda tonight to facilitate credit card taking services. There are services being provided by the town which is making things run faster and more efficient.”

  Resident Diane Campagna asked if the township might see some form of savings and expenses from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown with school buildings being closed and if such savings could be put back into school district programs.

  That question was referred to the Board of Education. It was noted that the governing body had transferred a million dollars to the district to help support its budget which had its public hearing on April 29.

  Wall said that the township’s department heads were being diligent in monitoring spending. “We have an exceptionally diligent finance department as well where we have multiple layers of responsibility in so far as choosing vendors and monitoring purchasing as well.”

   For more details concerning the township’s budget visit

jacksontwpnj.net/documents/announcements/2020/2020budgetpres.pdf