Lakewood Budget Would Increase Tax Rate 5 Cents

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lakewood-township-committeeThe Lakewood, NJ, Township Committee last night introduced a $68.8 million budget for 2009 that calls for a 9.8 percent tax rate hike. It also voted to shave $787,793 from the school budget that failed two weeks ago. The township tax levy would increase almost $4 million from last year to $43.6 million, bringing the tax rate up about 5 cents. The proposed new tax rate means someone with an average home assessed at $300,000 would pay $148 more in municipal taxes.Township officials said the tax hike was unavoidable due largely to a low tax collection rate and high number of property tax appeals. For the 2009 budget, the required reserve for uncollected taxes went up $1.5 million to $6.8 million. These factors contributed to about 3 cents of the tax rate increase, Mayor Robert Singer said.

As a result of a hiring freeze, the proposed budget eliminated 13 full-time positions and one part-time position by not refilling them in the Township Clerk’s office, inspection and public works.

In response to the voters’ rejection of the school district’s $72.4 million tax levy, the committee Wednesday also decided to reduce the budget’s proposed $2.8 million increase by 28 percent.

Committeeman Steven Langert, who negotiated the cuts with the school board, said that a balance needed to be found that would relieve the voters of some of the tax burden but not cause the state to declare that not enough was left to run the schools.

“We can’t ignore the clear and direct message that the voters sent,” Langert said. “Their rejection was overwhelming.”

He added that only way the voters were going to see true relief was if the state recognized Lakewood as an urban, multidemographic town that required more funding.

“Our expenses are outweighing the people’s ability to pay. This is continuing year after year,” resident Bill Hobday said, referring to a school budget that hasn’t passed in four years. “It’s time we have to think about a new plan – on what we can’t afford, and that means very, very difficult decisions that nobody wants to make.”

{APP/Matzav.com Newscenter}

6 COMMENTS

  1. Every business, Corporation, Government is negoiating with the unions for consessions. Every Business, Corporation, Government is reducing their medical benefits. Every….is instituting a hiring freeze & layoffs. Every …is not giving raises to employees but asking for give backs, etc.

    Lakewood Township is run very ineffeciently from an economic poit of view. They are giving raise to their overpaid or rather highest paid in the industry, full healthe benefits, no Union consessions, no employee give backs, raise as usual, etc.

  2. The only solution is to let Chasidim run our town. I don’t believe that kiryas Joel and New Square are paying so much taxes.

  3. BIG DEAL !! They jack up the budget knowing we will defeat it and then try to look good that they shaved off a few pennies. The solution is simple! Do not endorse any politician. Period. Let them fight for our votes and toss out every incumbent that can’t deliver. This scam has been going on for too long. These crooks are living off the hard work of the poor yungerleit that can’t put food on the table. What a disgrace. I only vote against incumbents.

  4. A Federal Judge told me “to root out coruption, never vote for an incumbent”. Politicians should be told we don’t vote for incumbents.

  5. THERE ARE 1400 PROPERTIES THAT ARE TAX EXEMPT IN LAKEWOOD.I DON’T THINK THAT IF SOMEONE HAS A MINYAN IN HIS PERSONAL RESIDENCE THAT HE SHOULD BE TOTALY EXEMPT FROM PROPERTY TAX 100%.A TAX BREAK YES BUT NOT 100%.AND I THINK THE TAX EXEMPT LIST SHOULD BE REVIEWED WITHOUT BIAS.THESE PEOPLE ARE STEALING FROM THE GENERAL PUBLIC.THIS IS ONE WAY TO SAVE POSSIBLY MILLONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS.

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