Proposed Brick Budget Has No Tax Rate Increase And Retains Services
With the deadline from the Division of Community Affairs looming, the Brick Township Council presented its version of the 2012 municipal budget, retaining the department of public works and keeping the tax rate stable.
After rejecting a proposed municipal budget submitted by Mayor Steve Acropolis which proposed 8 million in cuts targeting the Department of Public Works, Council President John Ducey introduced a $86,929,391 dollar budget.
This is first time in 21 years the Township saw a reduction in the amount of tax raised.
The roughly one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in proposed cuts comes a year after the Township passed a referendum raising the budget 8 million dollars to retain services.
Ducey explained budget cuts were made to almost all of the township departments, targeting salary and expenses. The council assured the public though cuts were made almost across the board, no jobs were lost and services will remain unchanged.
According to Councilman Daniel Toth, the reduction in tax ratables was attributed to an increase in tax appeals. He added the 2012 budget also does not take into account any “one shot” funding sources such as revenue from the MUA solar panels or sale of liquor licenses.
“We want to make sure we’re not using any un-anticipated funds” said Toth, adding that any additional funds that are raised will be added into the Township’s Surplus fund.
Ducey noted that in addition to all of the jobs being retained, the SET (anti-gang) task force has been reinstated.
“There are there things people want from their government. First, things they need like garbage, recycling, and snow removal; second is police to keep them safe; and third is keeping taxes stable.” Explained Ducey.
Mayor Acropolis said though he commends the Council for making the one hundred and fifty thousand in cuts, he said the only reason they were able to create a balanced budget is due to the referendum from last year.
Councilwoman Susan Lydecker however believes the Councils actions ultimately saved the tax payers of Brick.
“We saved the services we stabilized the tax base, we’re not going to have a referendum while we’re here. “
A vote on the budget will occur in May. The Department of Community Affairs gave the town until May 11th to figure out its layoff plan.