New Providence Municipal Tax Increase Pegged at 2.44 Percent
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 • 6:17pm
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – In a preliminary budget overview which is likely to become final, members of the borough’s Finance Committee recommended a 2.44 percent increase in municipal taxes at Monday’s meeting.
Mayor J. Brooke Hern described the proposed budget as very fiscally responsible. “It speaks to what we need to do to maintain services and an aging infrastructure,” the mayor said.
Councilman Dr. Bob Robinson noted that, unlike many neighboring communities, trash removal and waste water expenses are included in property taxes.
Again, looking at neighboring towns, Council President Michael Gennaro said, “We’re in fairly good shape.” He noted other towns were facing difficult times.
Complicating the budget process was the loss of almost one percent of the borough’s net valuations from mostly commercial properties tax appeals which totaled over $12.6 million.
Appropriations or expenses are expected to increase by $494,000 over last year. Revenues will climb much less with an expected increase of $329,000. The shortfall will be made up by increased taxes.
Some additional proposed expenditures this year include health insurance ($248,000), joint police dispatch ($50,000), increased gasoline prices ($30,000) and $50,000 for an uncollected tax reserve.
An additional expense that could be a harbinger of increased economic development and associated tax revenues is the expansion of the construction department including an additional inspector. The total expense is $79,000.
Gennaro pointed out that the municipal tax is only one component of a resident’s entire property tax. The other parts are school and Union County taxes.
The 2013 municipal tax will be formally introduced on April 1. A public hearing and council vote will be held on May 13.
Councilman Bob Munoz introduced a resolution which was ultimately approved authorizing the settlement of litigation between the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Occidental Chemical Corporation and the borough.
Munoz said the parties entered into a consent decree which legally prevents the parities form publicly discussing the terms of the settlement.
Council members Armand Galluccio and Gary Kapner said that Sunday’s Lions for Brian benefit pancake breakfast was attended by over 600 residents raising more than $12,000.
Brian is a 16-year-old resident who is losing his eyesight due to a rare parasitic eye infection.
Galluccio said that Prestige Diner donated 8 gallons of pancake mix and 80 pounds of bacon was provided, in part, by A & P Fresh. More than 12 gallons of orange juice was served.
“It all goes to prove what a great town New Providence is,” Galluccio said.
Kapner said the pancakes were superbly prepared by Ed “Pancake Man” Cadmus and that local Girls Scouts were kept busy cleaning tables.