The Township Committee adopted a $67.8 million budget Thursday and did not increase the tax rate for the second consecutive year, officials said.
The five-member committee voted unanimously, said Mary Ann Del Mastro, the township clerk.
Township officials adopted a budget that will require a tax levy of $43.8 million. The budget was introduced at the May 12 Township Committee meeting.
Lakewood’s tax rate is 0.686 cents per $100 of assessed property value, the same as in 2010.
The committee also passed an ordinance that will bank the portion of the budget that is below the allowable 3.5 percent capped increase for the year.
Lakewood's school and fire district budgets were defeated by voters, and the Township Committee negotiated revised budgets that had no tax increase. The municipal budget is not presented for voter approval.
“I am excited that we came up with a zero percent increase,” Mayor Menashe Miller said. “A lot of work went into it to maintaining the quality services without any increase in spending.
“Township workers are doing more with less” and should be given credit for their efforts, the mayor said.
Township Manager Michael Muscillo scrutinized the budget to find the best ways to save, Miller said.
With two years at the same tax rate, the governing body is looking at what might come next year, but is confident they will hold the line on taxes, Miller said.
“We are already actively contemplating our strategy” to maintain a steady tax rate for next year without diminishing any services, Miller said.
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