Property tax bills in Marlboro and Colts Neck rose slightly in 2012 from the previous year, but the increase is still lower than the state average increase of 1.7 percent.
But while the percent of increase from 2011 was lower, Marlboro and Colts Neck still pay more than the average New Jersey resident for municipal and county taxes.
According to The Star Ledger, statewide average increases were the lowest since 1991 and remained under the mandatory 2 percent cap put in place by Gov. Chris Christie.
Marlboro Townships taxes rose .6 percent since 2011 and residents are paying an average total bill of $9,690.10, broken up between municipal, county and school taxes.
Colts Neck Township taxes rose .9 percent since 2011, with residents paying an average of $13,508.71 split unevenly between the tree property tax categories which make up the bill.
Colts Neck tax bills are the third largest in the county, next to a more than $23,000 average bill in Loch Arbour Billage and more than $15,000 bill in Deal.
In Marlboro, the effort to remain under the 2 percent cap and continue to search for revenue sources has led to reworking services within the township since 2008. Township employees are now furloughed every Friday, and several Recreation Department programs previously offered for free are now attached to fees.
"We have increased commercial ratables," Mayor Jon Hornik said. "We have also made some policy changes in terms of carry-over time for employees and fringe benefits."
Neighboring towns are experiencing similar increases, remaining under the state 2 percent cap.
Matawan residents are paying .6 percent more than 2011, but at an average bill of $8,305.79.
In the immediate arena of the Marlboro and Colts Neck area, Manalapan and Freehold Township residents experienced the largest increases.
Manalapan at a 1.2 percent increase has an average bill of $7,593.95. Freehold residents experienced a 2.4 percent increase, above the cap, with an average bill of $8,034.87.
A bill in the State Senate sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) will promote shared services among municipalities, such as emergency services and public works. According to The Star Ledger, the bill would shrink government expenses. Municipalities without shared services would lose state aid.
Hornik said Marlboro continues shared services with entities such as the Marlboro Board of Education, and will continue to do so.
"The way to make shared services work is to make the benefits so great that the taxpayers demand it from their officials," Hornik said. "You have to overcome the strong need in New Jersey to remain independent."
According to The Star Ledger, Christie and local municipal officials believe Hurricane Sandy could result in unprecedented tax increases in badly damaged areas.
In Manasquan, which suffered some of the worst damage from Sandy, local officials said the cost of rebuilding might drive up tax rates by at least 20 percent.
Hornik said Marlboro had substantial costs, and the township isn't yet sure how it will impact 2013 bills.
"It depends on the reimbursement; what we get from FEMA."
Both Marlboro and Colts Neck have calculated estimated bills due to Hurricane Sandy at almost $1 million or more, a large portion of which is expected to be reimbursed by FEMA.