With the possibility that a proposed tax increase for property owners in Monmouth County could be reduced, the Board of County Commissioners have decided to postpone the approval of the 2021 budget.
On February 11, commissioners launched a $ 453 million budget to fund the county’s operations in 2021. The budget includes a $ 317.6 million tax levy payable by residential and commercial property owners.
This projected tax charge represents an increase of $ 6.1 million over the 2020 tax charge of $ 311.5 million.
The 2021 budget should be approved by the commissioners on March 25th.
However, during the workshop session that preceded the regular Bureau meeting, Director Thomas Arnone said the commissioners were holding back the approval of the budget after receiving information indicating that the county may have funds from a 1.9 Trillion US dollar federal incentive bill can get relief for taxpayers.
President Joseph Biden signed the $ 1.9 trillion bill on the afternoon of March 25th when district officials met.
Arnone said district officials expect to receive funding from this latest piece of legislation. He said funds from the first federal incentive bill that President Donald Trump signed during the coronavirus pandemic were used to support businesses, the arts and education in Monmouth County. Arnone said it was time to consider the next round of federal funding for tax breaks.
“This board has decided to step down and hold back until the end of the month (until the budget is approved),” Arnone said during a live stream of the commissioners’ meeting. “Hopefully we can bring some relief to taxpayers.”
The move to delay the adoption of the budget was supported by Arnone and Commissioners Ross Licitra, Nick DiRocco, Lillian Burry and Assistant Director Susan Kiley.
“From a prudent budgeting perspective, it makes sense to wait” until commissioners have clarity on how the county’s share of the stimulus package can be used, DiRocco said.
Officials didn’t say how much money Monmouth County could get from the $ 1.9 trillion package.
Once the 2021 budget has been approved, the financial impact of the budget on a property owner’s tax burden will not be known until a county tax rate has been set for each of the county’s 53 municipalities.
The district taxes a property owner pays are determined by the district tax rate set for their municipality and the estimated value of their property.
District taxes are an item on a property owner’s total tax bill that also includes council taxes, school taxes, and other assessments.
Monmouth County’s budget covers the cost of maintaining 1,000 miles of roads, more than 900 bridges, 17,000 acres of county parks, emergency management, 911 communications, prosecution by the prosecution and sheriff’s office, elections, document collection and passport services in the office the district clerk, inheritance and adoptions by the surrogate officer’s office, and more, according to the district officials.