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County to Introduce 2012 Budget With Slight Tax Hike

Freeholders to introduce spending plan at meeting Wednesday

The Ocean County freeholders will introduce a 2012 budget next Wednesday that will increase taxes 1.84 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

The proposed $354,189,356 spending plan will necessitate a tax rate of 29 cents per $100 of assessed value to raise the $300,026,643 tax levy.

"During the past few years, Ocean County has experienced substantial decreases in revenues and increases in nondiscretionary costs like insurance coupled with a sizeable drop in the county's ratable base," said Deputy Director John C. Bartlett, liaison to the Ocean County Department of Finance. "Combining this with meeting the needs of a growing county has resulted in adjustments to the county property tax rate."

The overall spending plan totals $1.4 million above the $352.7 million 2011 budget, which raised $293.3 million via taxation. The proposed budget increase comes well short of the state-mandated 2 percent cap, representing an increase of half a percent, freeholders said.

"This is a bare bones budget, no bells or whistles," freeholder Director Gerry Little said. "There are no new programs or services. This sustains our core services."

Freeholders plan to hold spending flat across most line items, including Senior Services, Ocean County College and the Ocean Vocational-Technical Schools.

However, other governmental requirements necessitate an increased line item for the Board of Social Services, with an additional $234,573 budgeted for a total $19.7 million expenditure. 

"This budget provides a modest increase to the Board of Social Services in order to continue to receive matching state and federal funds," Little said.

The drop in the county's ratable base has lead freeholders to look for savings elsewhere, such as staffing. The 2012 budget features a net loss of 56 positions via attrition for a savings of $358,102 and continues a strategy employed within the past three budget cycles.

"We have reduced the number of positions in county government by almost 200 during the last three years," Bartlett said.

However, the freeholders do plan for new law enforcement hires they say are neccessary to serve the needs of the il. Twelve corrections officers will be phased into the workforce along with four civilian employees.

"Public safety is a priority for the Board of Freeholders," Freeholder John Kelly said. "We are doing all we can to keep staffing at the appropriate levels while not creating an additional financial burden on the taxpayers who pay the bills."

The freeholders will introduce the 2012 budget at its 4 p.m. regular meeting Wednesday in the county , 101 Hooper Ave., Toms River. A public hearing is scheduled for the March 21 freeholder meeting. 

"While property values dropped again in Ocean County, it is still important to remember we continue to be one of the fastest growing counties in the state with the largest population of seniors and veterans," Bartlett said. "This budget reflects the ongoing efforts of this board and its county departments to reduce costs and yet provide quality services and programs to our citizens." 

Minden Yo February 11, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Nice, ...we're paying for the jail! Criminals cost twice a burden on taxpayers! We don't even have a bike lane anywhere, but the jail keeps getting bigger! So sorry that TR is not the way it used to be! ;(
Rich49 February 11, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Clap Clap! CLAP! Since the town's assessment of our properties almost doubled values, I don't see a decrease in tax rates per $100. Since I have lost more than $70k in value, the town should drop their assessment also.
Securevelope February 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I'm waiting for the letter telling me how my taxes have not been raised in over 10 years. I should have started saving those lies from the first one I got here. I moved here 11 years ago and my taxes were $1900/ year. That's what attracted me to my home purchase. My taxes are close to $4K / year now. Can someone tell me how they figure my taxes have not gone up? Since I moved here Toms River has turned into a shit-hole. They're not generating revenue here because businesses are leaving or going out of business faster than you can blink. Rt 37 looks like the rubble after a war and crime is through the roof. My home is assessed at twice the price I could sell it for and there are two or more empty homes sitting in my neighborhood now. Please, stop raping me financially and start figuring out how to not spend money you don't have like every single one of us manage to do.
skizma February 11, 2012 at 03:21 PM
take a look at the new re tax info on app.com. Just for giggles, go to Bay Head and look at the taxes they pay for homes we can't even think of owning. hah! If I lived on LBI I'd be having a fit. 5 grand for a home in Bay Head. Same value on LBI is more like 8/9 grand at least. makes no sense. Income tax is in theory the only correct way to collect taxes. Not realestate. But we, the ordinary folks, will never see that happen. This is a rich man's state. if all the average joe's left, the rich would have to pick up their own expenses. Unbelieveable....
skizma February 11, 2012 at 03:21 PM
I don't recall voting on the new jail.......do you?
Securevelope February 11, 2012 at 03:25 PM
I'm in crappy Bellcrest - there's no reason on this planet that my taxes should be as high as they are nor should my tiny shack of a house be assessed at over $200K. Yeah, we're being raped and I don't like it.
Securevelope February 11, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Frances, that's called accountability, responsibility and a good moral compass. Something any politician lacks.
Oscar Wilde February 11, 2012 at 03:33 PM
you serfs all need to wake up, or it will not be long before you are homeless !! as crazy as it sounds EVERYONE needs to stop paying their property taxes AT ONCE....what are they going to do....NOTHING ! STOP BEING AFRAID OF THEM......THIS IS WAR AND PLAYING NICE WILL NOT WORK SO FOR YOUR CHILDREN, FAMILY AND FRIENDS >>>>>PROPERTY TAX REVOLT
Laura February 11, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Just keep voting the Republicans into office in this County. Can I say dumbasses or is that prohibited.
Mr. ? February 11, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Mr? HUH? If I appeal and successfully win a reduced tax based on a new lower property value, no one will be paying for MY taxes. I KNEW THAT WOULD NOT BE UNDERSTOOD. ALL OTHERS ( PART OF THE TOTAL VALUATION BASE) WILL PICK UP THAT BURDEN. AGAIN, THE REVENUE NEEDS TO CONTINUE SO YOUR INDIVIDUAL REDUCTION WILL BE PASSED ON TO THE ENTIRE BASE. I will continue to pay my fair share. Why shouldn't someone appeal, THEY SHOULD BUT DON'T if their rate is incorrect. NOT THE RATE!! THEIR TAXES ON THE VALUATION THAT IS TOO HIGH. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS? UNDERSTAND, THE VALUES OF MOST ALL (RESIDENTIAL) PROPERTY IS EQUALIZED IN ANY RELATIVE INCREASE OR DECREASE . IF YOUR PROPERTY VALUE FELL 15% LAST YEAR SO DID YOUR NEIGHBORS. YOU APPEAL AND WIN, AND THEY DON'T APPEAL THEY LOSE. IN TR THERE ARE 44,000 RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES AND MAYBE 2000 APPEALS A YEAR. You make it seem like that's wrong to do, because some folks won't appeal - I don't get that.... SORRY YOU MISUNDERSTOOD, AND YOU SHOULD APPEAL. YOU WILL NOT WIN UNLESS YOUR ASSESSMENT IS MORE THAN 15% HIGHER THAN THE FIVE RECENT COMPARABLE SALES YOU CAN COME UP WITH THAT SOLD FOR 15% LESS. I'm not sure that I'd call those folks "unfortunate". The right to appeal is equitable, some just don't make the effort. BUT THEY ARE UNFORTUNATE, BECAUSE THEY PAY MORE, AND THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EFFORT. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY SENIORS ARE OUT THERE THAT DON'T EVEN KNOW THEY CAN HAVE THEIR TAXES FROZEN . SORRY FOR THE CAPS.
A . Leone February 11, 2012 at 04:27 PM
With the road department down 37 men and working with out a contract And the freeholders only willing to open 17 position . Who is holding unimportant in the hightest present ever in ocean county ? It looks like that should take a cut in pay and no increce for the next 4 years ?
Mr. ? February 11, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Sorry Jerry Belle, forgot to address this to you! Also there will be a seminar on appealing you taxes in the Mancini room of the Ocean County Library February 29th from 7-9 p.m. You can RSVP @octaxappeals@aol.com., or call732-831-5251.
Mr. ? February 11, 2012 at 04:46 PM
AGAIN.....56 positions via attrition for a savings of $358,102. I am reading this right? "56 positions" jobs right?... $6395.00 each? ANYONE?
patricia doyle February 11, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Recession John? I just got back from my accountant's office. We talked taxes for ten minutes and economy for fifty. She believes, as do many in the financial sector, that we haven't seen the worst yet. The initial smoke and mirrors has worn off and we are on our way back down. People just aren't talking about it because they are afraid that panic will make it even worse. So, in light of all this, why do we need to spend money on something we already have? Yes, something we already have! Old railroad beds are a part of our history. They're vintage, they're beautiful. I used to live in Sussex County with many. many old railroad beds. People walked them, kids rode their bikes on them, and we road our horses on them. Can't we just enjoy it as is and save the money? The economy is NOT getting better, folks.
patricia doyle February 11, 2012 at 05:22 PM
So what, Laura, go ahead and say it! It's true! The apathy is rampant here. People would rather do what thye're doing over and over again, even if it doesn't work, than take the time to really learn what's going on. We just keep doing it to ourselves.
George February 11, 2012 at 09:01 PM
Very interesting, Erin ("145 homes broken into in a month in one town, 30 robberies at the new Shop Rite") -- where did you get your info? I haven't seen that reported in the Patch news section.
Mapleleafnj February 12, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Its not any political parties fault, its the dumbass voters who keep pulling the lever for the same jackasses over and over again. In the burbs, they pull it for so called Republicans, in the cities so called Democrats , its still a circus and all circuses have CLOWNS. Do your homework, and if they are an Incumbent, or former political anything, don't vote for them. Otherwise we get the same re-cycled a-holes. 2nd Rant over...
Silver dollar February 12, 2012 at 02:33 AM
What happen to the recession ???? there is none if you are on some type of government payroll
Mr. ? February 12, 2012 at 04:10 AM
"voters who keep pulling the lever for the same jackasses over and over again." They have too! its the OC patronage, crony family! organized crime, its a crime, against the taxpayer. " "recession???? there is none if you are on some type of government payroll". Exactly! On the pad, and that's now 30% of the populace working for the Gov. There is no employment in Ocean County other than the good old boy Republican Patronage Company. Beholden to the Republican store or your out. Don'!t vote us in, and you lose your job! We will fire you... or those Dems will replace you when they get in office. Remember those political contributions come election time, cuz we gave you that job! Don't worry we can raise taxes and take care of you and yours. The smuck taxpayers will have to pay. you too pay but you will get it back. How cynical, but it is reality isn't it? Blue collar lay offs to support the double, triple white collar dippers. Sorry! Its not just this, its everything! Vent ,vent, vent
I B buggin February 12, 2012 at 10:34 PM
Well considering I just got a tax bill for $8,000......I agree with you Mr. M.
Xavier February 16, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Not to mention the reduction in benefits that had to be paid. Where did all that extra money go?
mussel mon February 20, 2012 at 05:22 PM
most likely the money went towards the trail to nowhere at a million dollars a mile and the people struggling in the obama recession can,t thank the double dippers enough.
paul rodgers February 20, 2012 at 05:30 PM
look ma its either john smith or tim o connor . whichever one that got banned from the patch back now as mussel mon to spread more lies about the trail when everyone knows the road has wasted over $ 1 million of lacey tax dollars and the town comittee like quinn who stands to get his properties connected for free just borrowed another $3 million dollars even though the town is in debt . whooppee
paul rodgers February 20, 2012 at 05:34 PM
thats the funny thing about old timers like smith and o connor they have short memories . this recession started in 2007. wonder who was president then? oh thats right it was the same president who left office with a 19% approval rating as 700,000 people a month got on the unemployment line . now we have a republican congress with a 6% approval rating but since nothing happened before jan 20 2009 why not blame it on obama? lol
mussel mon February 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM
thecounty has wasted far more in tax dollars on the trail to nowhere than Lacey has even thought about. don,t forget who had the congress under their thumbs when the country spiraled into the abyss or more commonly known as the great recession. you must be the one with the short memory paul rodgers because mccain warned you but you were too busy drinking msnbc kool aid and please tell us what obama has done for you lately. that's right doodles squat. and i,m not o,conner or smith but think they both have good ideas whether i agree or not unlike you and your band of gypsies that only come here to harass people and add nothing to the conversations but insults and falsehoods.
paul rodgers February 20, 2012 at 07:06 PM
of course you think they have great ideas you are one of the two of them . what mc cain warned me about ? someone should have warned him picking the car show model for a running mate would cost him the election. what has obama done lately besides killing bin laden and most of the top al queda leaders ? much too much for you to wrap your limited thinking around. as for falsehoods it public knowledge that it was a road not a trail that this town committee wasted millions on . checks arent being sent to t&m engineering every month and gilmore's office to deal with a trail but to deal with a road to nowhere this town voted no on already. as far as the kool aid line when will your type ever find a new slogan? i guess if it doesnt fit on a bumper sticker it aint worth repeating huh johnny smith?
mussel mon February 20, 2012 at 07:13 PM
wrong again and will the bumper stickers be for sale at town hall lol.
paul rodgers February 20, 2012 at 08:01 PM
i guess you got tired of using the name forked tongue and john smith huh?
paul rodgers February 20, 2012 at 08:02 PM
wrong? guess you would have to ask mc cain how that presidential run worked out for him. lol
mussel mon February 20, 2012 at 08:48 PM
yes you,re wrong but about obama remember the same people that noted for him also voted for corzine the billions are missing guy you go jimmcgreevey pull your pants up teddy kennedy and the biggest laugher of all joe biden. talk bout lol. so who,s next

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