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.