Category Archives: 4% budget cap

>Middletown Passes $64.6 Million Budget Supported by 13.4% Tax Increase

>All you need to know about Tuesday night’s Middletown Township Committee Special Budget Adoption Meeting is that the $64.6M, 2010 Municipal Budget, with its 13.4% tax hike, was adopted by a 4-1 vote. The lone dissenting vote was place by Democratic Committeeman Sean Byrnes.

Here are the simple facts as presented by the Asbury Park Press:

“…The Township Committee adopted Tuesday a $64.6 million municipal budget for 2010 that requires the average homeowner to pay an additional $207.

The $64,574,697 spending plan is $2,768,979, or 4.5 percent, higher than last year’s budget. The amount to be raised by taxes is $45,349,478, up $5,348,365, or 13.4 percent, from the 2009 tax levy….

…The municipal tax rate jumps from 35 cents per $100 of assessed value to 39.75 cents, up 13.6 percent. The average property owner with a home assessed at $435,000 will pay $1,729, up nearly $207, or 13.6 percent, to support the municipal portion of the tax bill….”

I would like to hear from all of those Middletown Republicans that support this budget. It will be interesting to hear how they spin this one.

You can read the whole article as written by Nina Rizzo >>> Here

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Filed under 4% budget cap, Asbury Park Press, Middletown, Sean F. Byrnes, special budget meeting, tax increase

>Tuesday’s Budget Approval Meeting In Middletown Designed To Limit Debate and Questions From The Public

>This coming Tuesday night Sept. 7th at 6pm, Middletown will finally adopt it’s 2010 Municipal budget. The budget will be 9 months late contain an 11.79 % tax increase to the municipal tax rate.

The regularly schedule meeting of Middletown Township Committee, which is open to the public, will not start until 8pm. This meeting will be preceded by an Executive session meeting at 7pm, which means that if the residents or members of the public wish to attend both the budget meeting and the regular meeting they will have to hang out for at least an hour in between, from 7-8pm, until the Executive session meeting is concluded.

This type of scheduling puts an undue burden on the members of the public that would like to attend both meetings.

The early meeting time to adopt the budget was requested at last Monday’s special meeting that was held during a power outage that left many residents stuck on the road unable to navigate the streets or stuck in their homes waiting for some kind of relief, by our ‘very open’ mayor, Gerry Scharfenberger.

If possible, I would encourage interested residents to try and make both public meetings, but if they can’t, they should at the very least express their dissatisfaction with Scharfenberger and in the scheduling time of these meetings by calling Town Hall @ 732-615-2015.

As I see it, there is no reason that the budget adoption meeting could not be held at the same time as the regular meeting. The Budget Adoption Resolution is only one resolution that needs to be voted on. The public can speak on it before it is voted on like other resolutions or ordinances that are offered up for comments before approval or adoption.

As it stands now, there is no discussion planned to review the changes that this amendment will make, nor are there any discussion planned as to what took place in Trenton on August 26th, that allowed Middletown to exceed a State budget cap of 4%.

There will be no discussion on anything unless the public comes forward and demands it.

You can read the Agenda for Tuesday’s Budget Adoption/Workshop Meeting >>> Here

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Filed under 4% budget cap, budget meeting, budget resolution, Gerry Scharfenberger, Middletown, Middletown Township Committee, resolutions and ordinances

>Local Finance Board Meets With Middletown; Special Budget Meeting Tentatively Scheduled For Monday

>Yesterday August 26th, Middletown appeared in front of the Department of Community Affairs Local Finance Board, seeking a tax levy wavier which would allow the Township to exceed the State mandated 4% cap on local property taxes.

It has been well reported and is no secret that Middletown’s 2010 proposed budget seeks to increase the local tax burden by nearly 14% (13.87% to be exact), which would be 9.87% above the cap threshold.

How well did Middletown do in the efforts to convince the LFB to allow them to exceed the cap? It’s not exactly known just yet because the Township is keeping a tight lid on the results, not even giving advance word to some committee members, waiting instead for to inform them once they receive their advance “packet” today, for a tentatively scheduled Monday night in which the budget for 2010 will be announced and possibly adopted.

Whatever the outcome was between Middletown and the LFB, it is a good bet that the proposed 13.87% increase was not approved and that big budget cuts are looming.

As a result, don’t be surprised if Gerry Scharfenberger and those in the majority spin the outcome of this meeting by saying that they anticipated the results and had a budget ready in advance to present, making it seem as if the the meeting with the LFB was just a formality like last years budget. Last years budget contained a proposed 12% increase and was cut down 6.2% by the LFB for a increase of some 5.8% to the municipal tax rate.

When more details become available I’ll pass them along, until now we need to wait until Monday night’s meeting to see what residents are in for when they open their 4th quarter tax bills.

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Filed under 4% budget cap, Gerry Scharfenberger, Local finance board, Middletown Township Committee, tax increase

>Middletown’s Hearing With Local Finance Board Scheduled For August 26th

>Middletown is one step closer to finalizing it’s 8+ months over due budget.

It looks like the Township’s hearing in front of the Department of Community Affairs Local Finance Board has been rescheduled for August 26th, two weeks after the original date was cancelled for the lack of a quorum on the part of the LFB.

According to the LFB website Middeltown will be participating in two meetings that day, one a teleconference that will deal with the Townships plan to bond $955,000 in order to finance tax appeals and the second to decide whether or not Middletown can exceed the State mandated 4% cap on property tax increases. It seems that Middletown is asking the LFB to approve an additional $2.68M over the 4% spending cap.

Now I am not exactly sure how this works but I figure there could be two ways in which to figure it out.

Last year, Middletown raised $40M from property taxes, if the amount raised by taxes exceeds the 4%cap ($41.6M) by only $2.68M, then the resulting increase to the municipal tax rate will be 10.7% (3.17% below the initially proposed tax rate) which would bring the amount raised through taxes to $44.28M ($1.27M less than what was originally proposed).

The other way to look at it would be, if the municipal budget for 2010 exceeds the cap by 4% over the 2009 budget which was $61.8M, the increase would bring the budget to $64.27M. And if then Middletown gets the approval to exceed this by $2.68M above the cap, the budget would be $66.95M, which amounts to an 8.33% tax increase. If this turns out to be the case then who knows what the amount raised by taxes will be. It will depend on what is cut and what is bonded for.

Is your head hurting yet?

The bottom line on all of this however happens to be that given the current economic environment and Governor Christie’s desire to control spending, it would seem unlikely that the LFB would agree to exceed the 4% cap by such a large margin anyway. Therefore the Local Finance Board will do for Middletown what Gerry Scharfenberger and those in the majority have been unwilling to do, reduce spending, by ordering Middletown to do so, which in turned would lower the proposed 13.87% tax hike to some more manageable number.

Where will an additional $2M in spending cuts come from is anyone guess, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the township eyed the use of furloughs or additional layoffs (it was announced that 4 new police officers have recently been hired) along with reducing the budget surplus further from the proposed $4M target for the year in order to make it happen.
We’ll all just have to wait and see what the LFB dictates to Middletown.

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Filed under 4% budget cap, Budget, budget cuts, Gerry Scharfenberger, Local finance board, Middletown, tax increase