Budget, where art thou?

The agenda for tonight’s Keyport borough council meeting does not include anything regarding the 2008 municipal budget.

The $8.37 million budget requires an increased tax levy of about $400,000 to raise more than $5 million needed to support the municipal budget. The current budget represents $162,890.73 less than last year’s.

The borough reported a loss in state aid of about $450,000, but that included $100,000 in extraordinary aid, which is something a municipality must apply for.

Keyport residents face a situation in which the tax rate is expected to increase about 14.2 cents with the proposed budget, bringing it to about 1.54 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

For an average residence valued at $123,000, the tax rate means about a $161 difference with the proposed municipal increase, not including the school budget increase.

Borough Administrator Peter Valesi recently said the borough could see a 12.7-cent increase without the loss in state aid versus the proposed 14.2-cent increase with it.

Alyssa Passeggio reported two weeks ago that Keyport was slated to lose about $368,245 in municipal aid, but that $66,010 would be restored – if the state budget is accepted. The additional aid would add two cents to the tax rate.

I was surprised the agenda didn’t include anything “budget-y,” as it still hasn’t been approved yet. Keyport is not alone, as Middletown has delayed the adoption of its municipal operating budget, as well.

At this rate, it’s looking like Bayshore budgets aren’t going to be formally adopted until mid to late June.

Half a year later and budgets are being amended. Half a year later and they still haven’t been adopted.

Maybe by the time 2009 rolls around? Either way, it’s a lot of money we’re dealing with here. I’m sure residents would like to know exactly what it is they’ve already paid for and just what it in they haven’t.

PHOTO: (Melissa L. Gaffney)

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Filed under Bayshore Budgets, Keyport

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