Brick Township’s tax levy will decline slightly in 2023 following the adoption of the annual operating budget this week.
Mayor Lisa Crate, just weeks into her mayoral tenure, was tasked with proposing the township’s 2023 spending plan. Crate proposed a $115,739,974 operating budget, an increase of 3.4 percent in expenditures over last year, but with no increase in the tax levy for residents thanks to exterior funding sources and efficiencies within township departments. On Tuesday night, the township council unanimously adopted a modified version of the budget proposal which calls for a slight decrease in spending and the overall tax levy.
“After weeks of carefully reviewing every line of our budget further and sharpening our pencils, we have identified operating costs we were able to reduce,” said Crate. “This year, there will be no tax increase in Brick municipal taxes. I want to thank the council for working with me on this budget.”
The total operating budget for 2023 will be reduced from the proposed $115,739,974 to $115,467,763. The tax levy – the portion of the budget funded by residents’ property taxes – will be reduced from $80,819,568 as originally proposed, to $80,547,357. Meanwhile, the operating budget calls for small increases in the amount budgeted for EMT and solid waste collection salaries.
“Honestly, it was a huge endeavor, and as my first budget as mayor, it could not have been done without the monumental amount of work that went into it,” said Crate, praising Joanne Bergin, the township’s business administrator, and Maureen Laffey-Berg, the township’s Chief Financial Officer.
The tax rate decrease is for the municipal portion of the property tax bill, which represents roughly one-third of the entire property tax obligation for property owners. The bulk of property taxes go toward supporting the public school district, with portions also funding county government, local fire districts and a small amount for open space preservation.