The average Toms River homeowner could face paying reportedly more than $1,400 in taxes under the township's proposed budget - largely because of the cost of shoveling out of several snowstorms.
Five major snowstorms in the past four months are likely to cast a chill over the tax bills of many property owners in the township this year.
Local taxpayers can expect to see a 3.8-cent increase per $100 of assessed property value under the proposed $124 million township budget - $8 million higher than last year.
Township Administrator Paul J. Shives, as reported by The Asbury Park Press, said one of the most significant causes of the tax hike was the $2 million spent on snow cleanup. Toms River needed an additional $1.2 million this year to fund the cost of this past winter’s snow and ice removal.
Mayor Thomas Kelaher said the township will continue to respond to the needs of those residents, and funding has been provided in the 2014 budget for continuation of the township’s efforts.
The amount to be raised by taxes to support the budget is $70.9 million, about 57 percent of anticipated municipal government revenue. State aid represents about $8.5 million of revenue or almost 7 percent of the budget, according to the municipal government’s figures, as reported by The Asbury Park Press.
Health insurance and employee benefits represent the greatest expenditure in the budget in 2014, accounting for $29.2 million or 23.6 percent of the budget. Police services and public safety are second, accounting for $26.2 million or 21.2 percent of the budget, as reported by The Asbury Park Press.
The budget summary states about $2 billion in taxable real estate was wiped off the books in Toms River in the aftermath of Sandy. About $700 million in assessed property values have made a comeback by the end of the first quarter of 2014, as reported by The Asbury Park Press.
A special budget meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 6, at the municipal complex.
Last year, the Township Council, by a unanimous vote, approved a $116 million budget that, officials said, was designed to combat a potential spike in property taxes caused by Hurricane Sandy. That budget addressed Sandy’s impact with significant federal and state money.
Property owners at the average assessed residential valuation for 2013 of $234,597 were to pay $1,245 in municipal taxes under the 2013 budget. That was a decrease from the 2012 payment of $1,413 for the average assessed valuation of $354,998, according to Shives.