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RED BANK: TAX INCREASE HELD TO ONE PERCENT

red-bank-parking-080322-2-500x375-7658650Parking revenue has been strong since the pandemic and an increase in enforcement hours, officials said. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxes-220x219-4107330Local taxes on the typical Red Bank home will increase by one percent this year, officials said at a walk-thru of the 2023 municipal budget Thursday night.

That’s about $25 for the owner of a home assessed at the new townwide average of $505,244, Chief Financial Officer Thomas Seaman said at the one-hour forum, held in the council chamber at borough hall.

red-bank-budget-presentation-050423-8-500x354-2078238A slide, with a typo in the title, from the presentation showed where the money goes by category. (Click to enlarge.)

The $25.911 million spending plan is fueled by $14.47 million in local taxes, an aggregate increase of 2.7 percent from 2022, Seaman said.

The property tax rate will decline, for the third consecutive year, to about 50 cents per $100 of valuation.

“If your valuation stayed the same, then you have a lower tax rate, which is good,” Seaman said.

But values on the town’s 3,339 homes generally have continued to climb, with the average assessment up 7.5 percent, from $469,876 in 2022, resulting in the $24.74 tax bill increase for the year, to $2,528, he said.

The figures do not include taxes levied by the borough schools, Red Bank Regional High School, and Monmouth County, which together account for more than 73 percent of property tax bills.

“We were really conscientious about keeping the tax rate – my philosophy, my father was an auditor for 40 years – steady. Not spikes,” Seaman said. “With a small increase this year, I think we’re doing pretty well.”

“We’ve really held the line on operating expenses without short-circuiting services” in the past two years, said Councilman Michael Ballard.

For the second year in a row, the revenue side of the budget includes $850,000 of surplus from the self-sustaining parking utility, which has benefitted from a post-pandemic rebound in economic activity and a three-hour-per-day increase in hours of metered-parking enforcement, to 9 p.m., in 2020.

In the room at the sparsely attended event were seven council candidates, including two of the three members of the council’s finance committee – Ballard, running on the Red Bank Together slate, and Kate Triggiano. from the Red Bank’s Ready slate Councilwoman Angela Mirandi, who chairs the committee, was out of the country, Ballard said.

Also present were Triggiano’s running mates Ben Forest, Kristina Bonatakis, Nancy Facey-Blackwood and Laura Jannone; and independent candidate Suzanne Viscomi.

A formal budget hearing and adoption vote are expected at the council’s second meeting of May, which has been rescheduled to May 31, from May 24.

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