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Budget Carries Average $105 Annual Tax Increase

Council votes on spending plan after a delay due to absences

After delaying a vote last meeting as three council members were absent, a full council agreed tonight to raise taxes in Toms River and approve the 2011 budget.

Toms River taxpayers will pay 2.8 cents more per $100 of assessed property, with a total $0.63 municipal tax rate. The increased taxes proposed equate to an average of $105.09 more in tax payments for the year, or $8.76 per month, according to township Adminstrator Paul Shives.

Shives asked for an amendment to the budget as introduced in April, after recalculating the cost of gasoline. That added $230,000 for the expense of gasoline. The total budget for gasoline is now up to $1.48 million.  

Shives said the increase for gas is still a small portion of the total budget. Increases since last year's budget included $1.25 million in blizzard costs, and increased pension funding.

Previously, Shives said the overall size of budget is 1.9 percent more than last year. Salaries are down $100,000 from the 2010 budget. Overriding objective of this budget, Shives said, was to maintain the current level of service.

Shives said the budget includes the use of six furlough days for the Teamsters Union, 12 furlough days for the so-called white collar union.

Other factors Shives said is impacting the budget: decreased valuations of property, with the overall assessed valuation has decreased by $615 million to $16.95 billion. State pension costs are growing 27 percent to $1.3 million.

Mayor Thomas Kelaher said previously that beating back an even larger increase to taxes were cost-saving measures such as another round of furloughs, renegotiated contracts for township employees.

"We managed to stay well under the mandated 2 percent cap," Kelaher said previously. Townships were mandated not to increases taxes more than 2 percent. 

Pat S. June 16, 2011 at 09:17 PM
George, I was here long before the property values became artificially inflated. Where did I say that I expect to live cheaper than anyone else in Toms River Township? All I ask is that we get services equal to the rest of the township. In fire and/or medical emergency situations, we can't always depend on TR to provide vital services; we are at the mercy of whomever is available on the island. Kindly explain how it is that you could be paying more for services than we are. And FYI, I have better things to do than to sit in the sand all day long. Just sayen!
George M. Lobman June 17, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Cindy; I agree there are a million way to skin a ... but think of the limitations in being able or encouraged to do so. The unions in the areas where we discuss putting costs savings efforst to work would jump thru the window because we are taking work from their representatives. Additionally any part time workers would be fought also since it would do the same. It all comes down to the fight between Unions and non-unions and how we merge the two parties to work together. Realistically it could not be done previously. Maybe now with the new sunlight being placed on Union agreements and their costs together with the universal understanding that along with every contract comes a long time committment financially, we can do something. The unions are in my opinion redundent. Every municipal and State worker falls under Civil Service overseight and that does provide a protection of workers in unfair treatment. We cannot all afford the best avenue but we can cut back to what we can.
George M. Lobman June 17, 2011 at 12:27 PM
No offense intended. Just suggesting living in that part of town has it's benifit as well as it's detractions. The distance to and from the mainland is a big problem for emergency travel. It is very difficult to get to the beach on just average days without an emergeny reason. Efforst at supplying base stations in the Barriers has been attempted many times over the years and there has never been a good answer to better coverage. In the old days the teachers from schools on the mainland used to suppliment as police and fire representative all summer long giving them additional income and more coverage. That is not possible now with the litigous nature of society and the number of un-busy lawyers around. Love the Barriers and their view but not the congestion or the problems in living there.
Pat S. June 17, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Glad that you understand my concerns. It is wonderful here, except when the summer invasion begins. But it is all part of living in a resort area.
Rontr July 19, 2011 at 04:05 AM
Governor awarded toms river a increase of 4 millions dollars in school aid today , heard town officials have find ways to spend the money or be nice and lower property taxes with extra money that was not allocated in the this years budget

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