The Matawan Borough Council voted to introduce a $10,554,843.34 total general municipal budget at their meeting Tuesday.
Councilwoman Kimberly Daly was the only elected official to vote against its introduction.
The budget is approximately $79,442 below the approved 2012 municipal budget. The tax levy would also see a decrease of about $263,600 to $7,484,009.33 if the budget is adopted as introduced. The borough would also raise $325,031 in taxes for the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library.
Under the 2 percent cap, the borough is permitted to raise the tax levy to $7,644,544, however they are below that amount by about $160,535.
Although the budget may decrease, the tax rate may see a slight increase from 70.9 cents per $100 of a home's assessed valuation to 71.89 cents per $100. This means a home assessed at $330,000 would see an annual municipal tax bill of $2,372.37, or an increase of $32.67 per year. This figure does not include school, county, or state taxes.
At a glance, the 2013 budget may see some of the largest increases in the areas of capital improvements and reserve for uncollected taxes. A copy of the introduced budget is available on the borough website. Even so, Mayor Paul Buccellato explained, the budget saw a decrease in a number of areas due to shared services with neighboring Bayshore municipalities as well as the council's efforts to balance revenues with expenditures.
"This budget represents the ongoing commitment of the governing body to balance its revenue against its appropriations to minimize the tax burden to residents. At the end of 2008, the borough was faced with an operation deficit of over $500,000 due to the actions of a prior council," Buccellato said in a prepared statement during the meeting.
"The actions that were taken in 2009 laid the foundation for this year's budget," he continued. "The governing body preparing this budget is and will continue to be committed to providing essential services at the most efficient and effective levels."
Buccellato specifically cited a number of policy changes and shared services agreements that reduced costs to the borough, such as a joint court system with Keyport and Hazlet, a shared gas purchasing agreement with Aberdeen and the Board of Education, a lawn maintenance agreement with Aberdeen, the consolidation of the Department of Works with the Water and Sewer Department and a resolution preventing officials from taking borough vehicles home.
Daly said after Tuesday night's meeting that she would make her objections to specific aspects of the budget clear after the borough holds a detailed budget presentation on June 6.
A public hearing on the budget will follow the presentation at the Matawan Municipal Community Center.