Property taxes in Lakehurst are set to rise now that the Borough Council approved the 2012 municipal budget.
Municipal taxes on a home assessed at $222,701 — the borough average — will increase $72.60 over last year. The tax rate increased from 1.0370 in 2011 to 1.0696 for 2012.
Though Mayor Harry Robbins was absent from the council's Thursday night meeting, he has said that, even with the elimination of the business administrator and code enforcer positions, the increase was still necessary because of what the borough offers to residents.
"One thing we all need to remember is that Lakehurst is a full service town," Robbins wrote in a column last month. "For instance, If we were to cut garbage pickup, well that will cost us, the residents, at least $400 a year out of pocket for private pickup."
The total general appropriations in the 2012 budget, which was introduced on April 19, is $3,583,978. The appropriations for municipal purposes is $2,300,961 and the amount to be raised by taxation for municipal purposes is $2,031,961, Clerk Burnadette Dugan announced before the council voted to approve the budget.
"We felt that the team did an excellent job," said Sue Barker, who served on the budget Residents Advisory Committee formed when Robbins took office in January. Barker was the only resident to speak during the brief public hearing.
Council President James Davis thanked borough staff for putting together the budget and the Residents Advisory Committee members for offering a "fresh set of eyes" to look over the budget.