Toms River Newsletter
Dear Residents and Business Owners,
2020 has been a very challenging year in Toms River. It started in mid-March with the Covid-19 pandemic and a shutdown of schools, businesses, and local government. In addition, we had significant unusual weather events affect our community- a tornado, a derecho and tropical storm Isaias. Through it all we have concentrated on doing what is right for our town and residents. We responded quickly and effectively to the economic impacts of the pandemic and weather-related events.
In the first three months of the Covid quarantine, all Township departments remained open to provide essential municipal services. During this time, non-essential personnel were furloughed, all overtime was strictly limited, and all hiring of non-essential personnel was suspended which resulted in a salary budget savings of approximately $900,000. As executive order quarantine restrictions were eased, those employees were systematically brought back to ensure that adequate staffing was in place for the reopening of town hall and other municipal operations.
Additionally, in the first six months of my administration two departments were re-structured, certain services were out-sourced, and the number of confidential employees employed by the Township was reduced by more than 20%. All of these actions resulted in a savings of an additional $900,000.
This year the New Jersey Division of Taxation ordered a Township wide property tax revaluation. The Township Tax Assessor was successful in negotiating two postponements, extending the effective date to tax year 2022. (see below information at the bottom of this letter for more details)
While dealing with these challenges we have continued to provide our Township residents with high quality municipal services and improvements to our Town’s recreational amenities and infrastructure. Some notable projects completed include:
- The Toms River Township Public Boat Ramp in the Gilford Park section of town is complete and has been very popular with our residents in its first season. Whether you’re launching a jet ski, a kayak, or a 35-ft boat, this facility provides a well-lit ramp, temporary dock and large parking for vehicles with trailers.
- The fitness center at Veterans Park on North Bay Avenue is almost complete. This will be a nice addition for residents who wish to stop off and exercise, while walking along the trail.
- The Township’s first public kayak launch at the Docksider Marina in Ortley Beach has been very successful. The Township has increased the amount of kayak rack storage racks twice already to accommodate all of the residents that have signed up for on-site kayak storage. For the spring of 2021, the Township is adding a second facility at Huddy Park.
- The Township recently completed the 2019 paving program early this summer. Funding for the 2020 program was approved by the governing body this year, and the Township anticipates going out to bid later this summer, or early in the fall, for the next program.
- On June 3rd Toms River Township held a $31,110,000 Bond Sale in conjunction with a $11,827,000 Bond Anticipation Note Sale. The Township maintained a strong AA bond rating, which resulted in a true interest rate of 1.386 % on the Bonds and 0.577% on the Notes. By consolidating numerous short-term debt into this bond, Toms River will realize $3.5 million in debt service savings in the 2021 budget year. Proceeds from the Bonds will be utilized to pay down $20,460,000 in Bond Anticipation Notes and to provide the necessary cash on hand for various other capital improvement initiatives. These initiatives will include the 2020 paving program, improvements of various parks and recreational facilities and the replacement of various equipment throughout the Township.
- In order to help our restaurants survive this crisis, we have relaxed restrictions on outdoor dining. I urge you to join in the community spirit and patronize these businesses as much as you possibly can.
As we proceed this year our emphasis remains on long term financial stability, preservation of open space and our continuing commitment to provide the important services to our resident that make Toms River such a great place to live, work and raise a family
Maurice “Mo” B. Hill, Jr.
WHERE YOUR PROPERTY TAXES GO
The property tax portion for municipal taxes represents just 27% of your tax bill and is the only portion that Toms River has control over. The balance, which makes up 73% of your bill is allocated for School (49%) and County (20%) funding, Fire District (3%) and the 1.5 cent open space tax (1%), as illustrated in the graph below.
Questions on your Toms River property tax bill, please call 732-341-1000 ext. 8342
Questions on your property assessment, please call 732-341-1000 ext. 8300
Questions on the Toms River school budget, please call 732-505-5500
Questions on the Ocean County budget, please call 732-929-2147