No tax increase in proposed municipal budget

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MANTOLOKING — The borough council unanimously introduced the 2021 municipal budget during its Tuesday council meeting, proposing nearly $6 million in appropriations.

The proposed 2021 budget, at $5,995,142, is an increase of $326,190 over the 2020 budget of $5,668,951. 

A public presentation of the budget will be held during the council’s next meeting on May 18.

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Because of 2021 revenues, there will be no rise in the local tax rate, according to Councilman Anthony Amarante. 

“I’d like to thank April [Yezzi, CFO] and all the departments for their efforts to complete the budget for introduction today,” said Mr. Amarante. 

“It was a lot of time and I appreciate the time devoted to our meetings and their expertise, which allows us to introduce a budget which increases spending by over $325,000 versus 2020 without proposing any reduction in services and does not increase the local tax rate,” said the councilman. 

Some notable expense items in the 2021 budget include state pensions and health care increases of $80,280 and $40,262, a beach operations increase of $50,000, since the borough will now outsource its lifeguard service, a dune fertilization program and more.

“We fully expect that the [beach] operations will be self-funding when actual revenue and expenses are finalized,” the councilman said.

The borough is proposing using $690,000 of the surplus balance of $1,407063 to support the 2021 budget. The borough expects to receive around $273,200 in beach badge sales. 

Like towns throughout the nation, Mantoloking will receive funding from CARES Act funds  throughout 2021, so far receiving $131,572.

Officials used a new process this year, collecting budget requests and disseminating them to the mayor and council before being discussed by the finance committee.

“I’d like to thank all those who gave valuable input during that process. I think it was extremely helpful,” said Mr. Amarante. 

Mayor Lance White said he, too, is happy with the 2021 budget. 

“It seems to me that there’s a lot of moving parts to this budget,” said Mr. White. “I want to thank all that Tony mentioned and I want to include Tony himself being the chairman of that committee. He did a great job and works very, very hard, as does everybody.”

The borough also introduced an ordinance that would allow them, if needed, to exceed the municipal budget appropriation limits and establish a cap bank. 

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