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14th
Sep 2021

Berkeley’s Municipal Property Tax Rate Remains Stable Under 2021 Budget

 
Berkeley’s municipal tax rate will remain stable under the 2021 budget, meaning the municipal portion of your property taxes will not increase.
 
School and county taxes make up the majority of your property tax bill, however, so changes there (as well as changes to your home’s assessed value) could still impact your property tax bill.
 
Berkeley’s municipal tax rate sits at 0.686 cents per $100 of assessed value on your home and accounts for about 31 percent of your tax bill overall, including the local open space tax. County taxes make up another 21 percent, roughly, with the remainder split between the Berkeley Township School District (27 percent) and the Central Regional School District (21 percent).
 
This means on a home assessed at $200,000, the municipal portion of your taxes would be about $1,372. The rest of your annual tax bill goes to the schools, county, and other entities.
The total township budget is $52 million, with just under $37 million of that being raised by local property taxes (including $526,000 for the open space tax), and the remainder coming from a variety of other sources, including $4.2 million in state aid.
 
Berkeley traditionally has one of the lowest tax rates in both the county and state. For example, Berkley’s average total property tax bill for 2021, including school and county taxes, is currently $4,520. That ranks #534 out of 565 municipalities in New Jersey. For 2020, Berkeley had the third lowest average tax bill in Ocean and Monmouth counties, even with a 3 percent increase in the tax rate that year.
 
Overall, Berkeley’s municipal tax rate has remained stable in four of the last six years.
Meanwhile, the county’s 2021 budget called for a slight property tax decrease under the county portion of the bill. The $470 million budget included paying down debt initially incurred during the massive response to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, $45 million in spending on road and bridge work, as well as monies for park renovations, drainage, an upgrade to one of the county’s vocational-technical schools, and more. The budget was adopted in March.
 
Because Berkeley Township has two school districts – the Berkeley Township School District, which serves Kindergarten through 6th grade locally, and the Central Regional School District, which serves grades 7 through 12, and which includes students from Island Heights, Ocean Gate, Seaside Heights, and Seaside Park – each district has its own budget.
 
Berkeley Township School District’s proposed 2021-2022 budget called for raising $32 million from local taxes, with the remainder coming from state and federal aid, along with other sources. The Central Regional School District will be raising about $36 million from local property taxes, again with the remainder coming from state and federal aid, along with other sources.
 
Though the county and school districts have their own budgets, under state law the property taxes paid to them are collected by the township on behalf of those entities, and then are passed on to the county and school districts. This is why it all appears as one total number on your property tax bill.
 
To see the 2021 municipal budget in full, visit the township website berkeleytownship.org
By Eric San Juan
 
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