‘Historic night’ for Shamong as committee adopts new budget virtually

Flat taxes result of a session held through secure phone conference

In a historic night for Shamong, the township committee adopted its municipal budget during a April 7 meeting held over a secure phone conference.

As it adjusted its way of doing things during the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee voted unanimously to adopt a 2020 municipal budget that does not call for a tax increase. The $3,467,976 total operating budget includes a 54-percent increase by the state to the Garden State Trust and a reduction in the township’s fund balance.

Property owners with a home at an average assessed value of $307,499 will continue to pay $292.12 in taxes annually per $100 of assessed home value. That equates to zero increases to the .095-cent tax rate.

As previously reported by The Sun, a 2 percent cost-of-living increase was applied across Shamong’s departments, which Township Administrator Sue Onorato said was contractually  required.

Revenue for the township includes $1.4 million in the surplus funds; state Department of Transportation grants for the repaving of Grassy Lake Road phase one; and the $100,000 Burlington County Municipal Park Grant, half of which was dedicated to the local school district for an inclusive playground.

There were no public comments during the meeting, but Mayor Michael DiCroce reiterated the fact that the township operates on “less than a nickel on the dollar” and added how proud he was to offer a balanced, flat budget to residents.

The newly adopted budget can be viewed by visiting Shamong.net. The township committee will hold its next meeting Tuesday, May 5, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Meetings will continue to be conducted via phone conference.