Proposed 2.8-cent Increase in Township Tax Rate

Township Council introduces budget with $0.63 municipal tax rate; budget hearing is April 26

Toms River taxpayers could pay 2.8 cents more per $100 of assessed property, with a total $0.63 municipal tax rate, according to the municipal budget introduced today.

Next up is an April 26 public hearing on the 2011 municipal budget, and the township council's next regular meeting is April 12. The budget is $97.984 million, which is 1.2 percent more than last year.

The increased taxes proposed equate to an average of $105.09 more in tax payments for the year, or $8.76 per month.

"Nobody likes to raise taxes," said Mayor Thomas Kelaher. "But, $8.76 a month, that’s a pack of cigarettes. I don’t think anyone would begrudge the equivalent of the cost of a pack of cigarettes to maintain the level of services."

Township Business Administrator Paul Shives said this year was a challenging one to create a budget. Toms River will again use attrition, furloughs, re-negotiated contracts, a hiring freeze and shared services efficiencies, he said, while maintaining the exact same level of services as last year.

“The Mayor’s directive to us was clear: the level of services had to be same, no matter how to get there,” Shives said in an interview before a brief public meeting to introduce the budget.

Overtime expenses are decreasing 26 percent, and overall salaries and wages have decreased over 2010's by $100,000, said Shives. 

He said re-negotiating with the eight unions for public employees saved more than $1 million. He pointed to the use of 12 unpaid furlough days for "white collar" union workers, and a hiring freeze for 34 positions left vacant from 2008.

Two big elements impacting the budget: $1.3 million in spending related to snow removal, and tax appeals with decreased property values, said the township administrator.

The average assessed property value decreased over last year, down to $368,742. Previously it was $370,190, Shives said.

In addition, the ratable base is decreasing for Toms River, Shives said. While in 2010, $17.115 billion in tax ratables existed, it is $16.95 billion in 2010, a loss of $1.65 million in ratables, Shives said.

On the revenue side, state aid levels increased over 2010, the year when the state drastically cut aid to municipalities, he added. State aid is expected to be $8.492 milion in 2011.

Shives said $11 million of the township's surplus funds will be used to offset costs, and that is 11 percent of the total revenue in the $97.984 million proposed budget. Local taxes make up 63 percent of the total budget, at $61.243 million in taxation.

Residents hoping for more insight into what the budget would contain were urged to check the township's website tomorrow, as the proposal would be in place there, said Township Clerk Mark Mutter. Council President Gregory McGuckin said further detail and chance for public comment would be at the budget hearing.

R.CROCONO March 29, 2011 at 10:24 PM
attritions,hiring freezes and furloughs does not cut it,layoffs have to be included. with the risein school taxes again and now this, THIS BUDGET HAS TO BE VOTED DOWN,THERE IS SO MUCH WASTE IN THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPT.IT NOT NOT EVEN FUNNY.FEW OF US CAN AFFORD TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES ANYMORE,BUT CANT SELL THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE UNDER WATER
Rich March 29, 2011 at 11:07 PM
You can't "vote it down." Voters get to decide on only the school budget, not the municipal or county budgets. (The fire district budgets were already voted on by the public last month.) They all impact your property taxes. NJ is now the worst of all 50 states in the glut of foreclosures and short-sale homes on the real estate market, hurting everyone's property values. However, most of that problem is from banks giving out too many bad loans (poor risk buyers and/or over-appraised homes) during the housing bubble. The 4.6% increase in the municipal tax rate isn't good, but it's not as serious a problem. It will take over 4 years to sell all those distressed homes, so our property values (and selling prices) may be held down until 2015!
Stephan March 29, 2011 at 11:28 PM
I have lived in my home here in Toms River for over 3o years. In that time my taxes have gone from less tha one thousand to close to seven thousand dollars. In that time my services have not changed but taxes keep going up. WHY. It seems nothing changes except the FAT CATS keep getting fatter. Something needs to be done. As you look around there are more homes for sale than I have seen for years. Make the cuts that are needed to not raise our taxes. I am not saying cut jobs just cut hours. If I had the choice be laid off or only work 32. You bet most of us would take the 32 hours. STOP TRYING TO GET BLOOD OUT OF A STONE.
Jose Deer March 29, 2011 at 11:51 PM
all private sector homeowners NEED to hold back the next 3 quarters of their property taxes AT THE SAME TIME.....put money in escrow and do not give the money , sure it may cost you a few dollars in fees and interest but.... YOU WILL STARVE THE MACHINE THAT IS KILLING YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES SECURITY !!!!
Marisol Colon March 30, 2011 at 01:48 AM
Why dont you look at where this problem is really coming from. Look your Governor who has cut all the money to Municipalitys. This Mayor cant get Money where there is none. Here is a Mayor who at least is trying to keep services where all over the state they are cutting everything from Garbage to Police. This Mayor is trying to keep the services. Taxes go up anyway at least your not losing services. Appreciate what you have My town has reduced everything.
Stephan March 30, 2011 at 02:31 AM
I doesn't matter where the problem is coming from. It is our now.How about all the money being spent on this recycling project. Summer is coming. Do we really need to have our garbage picked up twice a week? Again there are many ways to save money. Raising my taxes is not one of them. And don't get me started on the school budget.
Frank March 30, 2011 at 02:35 AM
Marisol, it's not the Governor that's bankupted this state. It's the UNIONS and the POLITICIANS that they DEAL with. It's a vicious cyle of promises & payoffs. Labor contracts that can't possibly be filled without bankrupted this state! Pensions, Healthcare, vacations, holidays, sick payoffs, double pensions, early retirements & then taking another job in the system. It's totally unsustainable the taxpayers over overtaxed and can't pay anymore. The current LEGISLATURE need to be FIRED in the next election. ALL THE DEMOCRAT REPRESENTATIVE NEED TO GO. SWEENEY NEEDS TO GO. They are blocking all the reforms that Christie wants to put in place. They block the appointment of a new NJ Supreme Court Justice so that we'll never get rid of the Abbott District ruling that robs money from our school districts and dumps money into the moneypit in Camden, Newark and all the other systems that just WASTE all the taxpayer money. Don't complain vote out the NJ State Reps. that are BLOCKING REFORM and FIRE Obama November 2012!!!!!!!! His policies are purposely destroying this country. Wake up and research whats going on - we're in DEEP trouble - thanks to Mr. Hope & Change. Now we know what his kind of change is and it ain't good!
TRWatch March 30, 2011 at 02:48 AM
Just think, a few short years ago Kelaher would only get $8,900 a year instead of the cool $82,000 he gets now to make comments like: “But, $8.76 a month, that’s a pack of cigarettes. I don’t think anyone would begrudge the equivalent of the cost of a pack of cigarettes to maintain the level of services.” Are you f$%k&*g kidding me?
Stephan March 30, 2011 at 03:13 AM
Gee if I remember right it was Witman who robbed from the pension plan and never paid it back. Sounds just like all the other republicans in this country. Blame the Dems. If it wasn't for the unions we all be getting paid what Walmart pays there employees. I AM NOT a union supporter but without them there would still be sweat shops. I live in a township that is run by republicans. Most getting double healthcare benefits and golden parachutes. Clean your own house before blaming the Dems.
Jose Deer March 30, 2011 at 03:46 AM
other than blaming BOTH the republiCANTS and the democRATS , you are so far off base in ur entire post Public Unions have NOTHING to with ending sweat shops and Whitman didnt rob a penny from the pensions, she cost it alot of money (actually taxpayers) and im sure made a bunch of money in fees for her rich cronies, but didnt rob a penny
Greg March 30, 2011 at 12:26 PM
Is there anyone who could give me a little insight into what happened at the meeting last night? I am going to go to Town Hall and put in my OPRA request. Was there anything of value stated at the meeting? I was unable to attend due to the fact that I worked on t he back shift last night. Thanks for any help and insight that someone can give.
Helen March 30, 2011 at 01:08 PM
Their are labor laws that protect workers today and supply and demand drives wages. If you have a skill that's in demand you'll get paid what your worth. Walmart jobs are entry level jobs or jobs meant to supplement as a second income. Walmart shouldn't have to overpay people for jobs that just about anyone can do. The outrageously high union salaries, benefit and pension demands have driven jobs out of this country. Then we have the problem of illegal immigrants taking construction, landscaping, restaurant jobs. The construction industry has lost millions of jobs and the pay is artifically low because of the illegals. Our current President & his Administration REFUSE to shut down our borders because they see these people as a potential voting block if they have their way with granting amnesty. AT THIS POINT ALL POLITICIANS NEED TO BE REPLACED. For too long taxpayers haven't paid attention to what they're up to but thanks to Obama's in you face spending spree people woke up % are investigating where our money's going. It's going to taxpayer funded gold plated healthcare ins., high salaries and pensions of PUBLIC sector employees. They're robbing us blind and we only have ourselves to blame. VOTE OUT the NJ Legislature this November and Vote NO School budgets. Send a message. Good people need to step up and challenge the entrenched politicians. They've created a culture of dependency and a you owe me mentality. Personal responsibility is dead in this country.
Catherine Galioto (Editor) March 30, 2011 at 01:18 PM
As of this morning the budget summary is online; at yesterday's meeting copies of introduced items were not available. They provide copies when an item is up for adoption, but not when introduced, instead opting to make copies available in the clerk's office and online the following day. The information for this story was gathered during an interview with the mayor and township administrator before the council meeting yesterday evening, where the mayor provided a budget summary handout. Hope that is helpful!
walt tupycia March 30, 2011 at 08:35 PM
what is the mayor smoking a pack of cigs
walt tupycia March 30, 2011 at 08:36 PM
stop spending
walt tupycia March 30, 2011 at 08:37 PM
the is something wrong with this mayor
walt tupycia March 30, 2011 at 08:38 PM
trwatch you are so right
TomK March 31, 2011 at 04:25 AM
They actually did stop with the "twice a week garbage collection" last summer in this section of Toms River at least.
Missy on Onyx March 31, 2011 at 01:22 PM
I am more than willing to pay an extra 8.00 per month. I CHOSE to purchase a home. And did so when the market was outpricing everyone. I am very happy in Toms River and I am pleased with the level of service that I receive from all departments. I was born and raised in Jersey City. Toms River, to me, is Beverly Hills. FOR THE LAST TIME it was YOUR CHOICE to buy a home. It was YOUR choice to live in New Jersey. I.E. You wanted to buy a Volvo, safe, reliable car. It just cost you $70 for an oil change, don't complain, you drive a Volvo, and knew about the maintenance beforehand. STOP YOUR BITCHIN.
Missy on Onyx March 31, 2011 at 01:26 PM
And one more thing. Stop blaiming the democrats. Gov. Christie cut state aide to municipalities while financing a casino and providing scholarship vouchers to private schools ON YOUR TAX DIME. He refuses to reinstate the millionaire tax surcharge as well. Tell Gov Christie to return that money to the municipalities, and start making payments to the pension system. Problem solved.
Frank March 31, 2011 at 01:36 PM
Are you on the public dole Missy?? Those millionaire's earned their money - why should the give to you?? The democrats have controlled the NJ legislature for how many years now???? The unions made deals with them and now we have contracts to pay out pensions that cannot possibly be paid - there's not enough money whether you steal the money from those that earned or not!! The Abbott school districts are flushing OUR money down the toilet & the DEMOCRATS are blocking appointments to the NJ Supreme Court so it will never be overturned . The keep throwing our money at a FAILED system. Maybe you oughta check out the pay & benefits WE THE TAXPAYER are paying to public "SERVANTS". It's unaffordable and that is the problem. If you want to pay an extra $8 buck go head -but for others the TAXING & SPENDING needs to STOP!
Missy on Onyx March 31, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Yes I am on the "Public Dole". Are you on the "millionaire don't need to pay taxes-I have a lawyer for that train"? I also pay taxes state, property etc.. which provide my salary and benefits. So if I follow your logic I contribute to my own salary I am self-employed! I think will give myself a raise. Thank you for pointing it out to me. And I don't expect millionaires to give me anything. I work for a living. I just think that if the state is in dire financial straits don't you think the governor should explore any means possible after all it is a shared sacrifice right. And don't tell me millionaires pay 40% of the taxes. For every tax they incur there is a loop hole getting them out of it. And I wish he would also replace the money that was stolen from our pension system. Yes that's right stolen. Borrowed infers the intent to return what was taken. You can keep on enjoying your profit sharing, end of year bonuses 401k's whose value doubled in the last two years, (Wall Street Journal 1-27-11) .
BN March 31, 2011 at 02:00 PM
The sad truth is that they DO pay 40% of the taxes (probably more if you add in business/payroll taxes). Tax them more and they'll move out of state taking their revenue with them...they can afford to. It's easy to claim that your 401(k) doubled in the past two years when you are making that statement exactly 2 years after a crash. All that we the taxpayers are asking is that public unions tighten their belts and contribute. To deny yo have been living the life of Reilly is absurd. Start by chipping in for your health care, eliminating over time, cutting back on administrators, and implementing merit reviews/pay for teachers. Just the tip of the iceberg.
BN March 31, 2011 at 02:02 PM
You are correct. It isn't solely the fault of the dems. Unions, the Mafia, and social engineering had a role in it too.
Frank March 31, 2011 at 02:09 PM
So you're self-employed because you pay taxes? Do your property taxes etc. Equal your annual income plus perks?? Don't think so. You're neighbors are paying for your salary, your benefits, your perks PLUS their own insurance costs and retirement. And yes the Top 1% yes 1% pay 40% of the taxes - even after all their "loop holes". So until the incumbant legislatures are voted out - you're in danger of losing all those promises that were made to you - the money isn't there. The tax & spend mentality has to stop and personal responsibility needs to come back to this country. How many of the "poor" have cell phones (tax payer provided by the way), multiple tv's, a/c, nice cars, plenty of food (according to Michele Obama obesity is a problem), nails are done, tattoos etc.). No one owes you anything -earn your own way you live in America that land of the "free"( the meaning of free appears to have change - free healthcare free food free cell phones free transportation free free free!!!
Catherine Galioto (Editor) March 31, 2011 at 02:17 PM
Just a friendly reminder for civility and that personal attacks, but also obscenities and libelous statements, are flagged and deleted.


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