LAKEWOOD TOWNSHIP TO RAISE TAXES TO MAKE UP FOR ALL THE TAX ABATEMENTS THEY GRANTED

Lakewood's Township Committee this year granted short and long-term tax abatements to numerous new office buildings around town. This resulted in a loss of over $4 million in tax revenue for this year alone.

To make up for this lost revenue, the Township Committee is planning on increasing our property taxes for the coming year by over $3 million.

The total annual tax bill for FY '21 for an average new duplex in the Oak and Vine neighborhood, assessed at $577,200 was $13,148.62. Of this amount, $3982.68 funded the municipal budget.

The total annual tax bill for FY '22 for a similar new duplex will be $13,327.548, which represents a $178.93 increase. Of this total amount, $4,040.40 will fund the municipal budget, an increase of $57.72 from FY '21.

The total tax levy for the municipal budget for Fiscal Year 2021 was $72,194,989.45. The tax rate was $0.691. This is the amount in you pay per $100 of your property's assessed value.

The Township Committee introduced the FY '22 municipal budget at their last meeting on May 12. They will hold a public hearing and adopt the final budget at their upcoming meeting on June 23.

The municipal tax levy for the proposed FY '22 budget is $75,239,878.38 - a $3,044,888.93 increase. The tax rate is $0.70, a 1.3% increase from last year. 

This increase would not be necessary had the Township Committee not granted numerous long and short-term tax abatements this year.

The Township Committee has granted 5 year tax abatements / Payments in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) to 19 properties around town. (These properties pay 0% the first year, and then slowly increase 20% each year for the next 5 years). These properties are assessed at a total of $104,881,300.00 and would have paid a total of $2,382,903.14 in taxes for FY '21, however due to the abatements they are paying only $544,516.30, which is a non-payment of $1,838,386.84.

The Township Committee has also granted long-term tax abatements / Payments in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) to 13 properties in the Cedarbridge Corporate Campus. These properties are assessed at a total of $136,536,800 and would have paid a total of $3,102,116.09 in taxes for FY '21, however due to the abatements they are paying only $690,710.69, which is a non-payment of $2,411,405.40.

In total, the Township Committee has granted tax abatements to 32 properties. They are assessed a total of $241,418,100 and would have paid a total of $5,485,019.23 in taxes for FY '21, however due to the abatements they are paying only $1,235,226.99, which is a non-payment of $4,249,792.24.

Had all these properties been assessed their full taxable value, our taxes would have actually decreased. Instead, our taxes are increasing to make up for the lost revenue.

This municipal budget is only one of 4 portions of our single tax bill, which also the budgets for the Lakewood Board of Education, Fire District, and Ocean County. Not all of these budgets have been finalized yet. However, the Township estimates the total tax levy of these other budgets to be $171,729,291.76. Combined with the municipal budget, the total tax levy will be $246,969,170.14. 

The total tax rate for our entire combined property tax bill for FY '22 has not yet finalized by the Township Tax Collector, however, based on the Total Taxable Valuation of all taxable properties in Lakewood, which, as of October 1, 2021 is $10,744,753,700.00, the Tax Collector has estimates that the total tax rate will be 2.309. The actual total tax rate in FY '21 was $2.278, so this represents a $0.031 increase to the tax rate.

The Township Committee will hold a public hearing and adopt the final budget at their upcoming meeting on June 23 at 5:30pm. Members of the public are welcome to watch the meeting live at https://townhallstreams.com/. Public comment can be sent via email up until 11:30 am on the day of the meeting at premeetingcomments@lakewoodnj.gov or during the meeting via comments@lakewoodnj.gov. Please include your name and address for the record. Comments may also be made live on the phone by calling (408) 418-9388. The Meeting ID#/Password is 2631-947-0052. All participants will be muted upon entry to the meeting but may participate by using the *3 key when the meeting is opened to public comment.







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