PRELIMINARY: AVERAGE RED BANK TAX UP $94

The spending plan includes debt service on the estimated $1 million cost of a replacing 25-year-old Ladder 91, above.  (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

Still a work in progress, the 2012 Red Bank budget calls for a $94 tax increase on property assessed at the borough-average $401,393, officials said Wednesday night.

The figure  reflects a 4.5-percent increase in the municipal rate, to 53.2 cents per $100 of assessed value, from 50.9 in 2011, said Chief Financial Officer Colleen Lapp.

Driving the increase is an unexpected $464,000 spike in insurance costs, “the majority of it health insurance;” tax-appeal refunds, which in the first two months of the year have already rung up to $135,000; and a contractual $118,000 increase in pay for police, said Lapp.

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