The Avalon Borough Council introduced the 2020 municipal budget on Wednesday, February 26th that includes no increase in the municipal tax rate. The budget totals $28,659,238 and includes a municipal tax rate of 19.9 cents per $100 dollars of assessed valuation. This is one of the lowest municipal tax rates among developed communities in the State of New Jersey.
“Avalon has been able to hold the municipal tax rate steady for three consecutive years due to smart fiscal policies, cash management, and pursuing grant funding at every opportunity”, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi. “The Council Finance Committee team of Dr. Nancy Hudanich and John McCorristin did an excellent job with this budget, along with our department heads who present innovative, responsible ideas to continue to make Avalon a premiere place to live, and vacation”.
Under the direction of Mayor, Council, and the Finance Office, Avalon will have all general long-term obligation debt paid off in 2020. Only short-term financing will be needed for capital projects. This has been a goal the Borough has been working towards for several years.
There will be no increases in the municipal tax rate or in the water and sewer rates for 2020. The budget calls for a slight increase in seasonal and weekly beach tags necessitated by the State’s mandated increase in the minimum wage. The budget is supported by $131,711 in excess library surplus; Avalon continues to offer a perennial five-star Avalon Free Public Library. Less surplus is being used to support the 2020 Avalon municipal budget, compared to 2019.
This budget will allow the Borough to pay $5.74 million towards past projects and current debt, and another $1.47 million towards current year projects. Avalon’s general capital projects will be financed with a 20 percent down payment, much larger than the State requirement of a five percent down payment. Water and sewer projects continue to have a five percent down payment.
Avalon intends to move its dispatching operations to County Dispatch during 2020. The Borough will finance various projects including an expansion of the volunteer fire department building, and the installation of new water meters throughout the community. Various streets and bulkheads will also be upgraded.
The Borough is making an investment in long-term resiliency with a dedicated source of funding in this, and subsequent budgets that can be used for various projects with matching federal and state dollars. Council will also adopt an ordinance that will establish a committee to further advance flood protection efforts. This year, Avalon property owners will experience a 35 percent reduction in their flood insurance premiums courtesy of advancement to a Class 3 status in the FEMA Community Rating System program.
The 2020 Avalon municipal budget will be adopted at a future Council meeting.