2013 Municipal, School and County Budgets Increase Taxes

New Milford homeowners will see a total average annual increase of approximately $217 with the municipal and school budgets adopted, and the county budget introduced,

Each year school districts, municipal governing bodies, and county governing bodies submit their adopted budgets to the County Tax Boards outlining their budgetary requirements. The various levies are totaled to represent the “amount to be raised by taxation” for each taxing jurisdiction.

The 2013 Municipal Budget of $19.3 million with its tax levy of $15,784,067 shows a tax increase of $47 per year for a house assessed at the new average assessment of $321,339.

In order to meet the costs of the special and unanticipated capital projects included in the 2013 capital portion of the budget, the borough will need to exceed the 2 percent cap in order to fund the projects.

Local governments can circumvent the 2.5 percent cap on municipal budget increases if an ordinance is adopted establishing a 'cap' bank. The passage of the ordinance permits the governing body, in certain situations, to increase its budget in an amount not to exceed 3.5 percent of the preceding year’s appropriations level.

The law establishes that the 'cap' can be exceeded without having to go to the public for a vote if a town needs to meet certain capital expenditures, including debt service, or if there is an increase in pension contributions or health care costs.

Included in capital expenditures, are the following special projects totaling $4,002,500:

  • Hirschfeld Brook Flood Mitigation: $1.4 million
  • NMFD Co. 1 Firehouse Renovation: $736,000
  • NMFD Co. 2 Firehouse Renovation: $1,666,500
  • NMPD Headquarters Design: $200,000

The New Milford Board of Education approved its $32.3 million 2013-14 budget with its $28.5 million tax levy that will increase the average homeowner's tax bill by $146 per year for a house assessed at $321,339. Because the budget did not exceed the 2 percent cap on the tax levy, the budget did not have to go to the public for approval. 

"That's pretty much in line with last year," Business Administrator Michael Sawicz said. "It equals out to a $36.62 increase per quarter."

For the 2013-14 school year, New Milford however Sawicz stated that the district must return $61,000 to Trenton for the Schools Development Authority's (SDA) for the second year in a row. According to Sawicz when the district performed several renovations a few years ago the district received state funding towards the projects but is now being required to reimburse the state as it pays off the issued bonds.

On Tuesday, the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced a $498 million budget that works out to an average tax increase of $24.63 per year on an average home assessed at $324,200.

For the New Milford homeowner, those increases add up to an annual tax increase of approximately $217.63 on a house assessed at $321,339.


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Sam May 09, 2013 at 01:28 PM
PATHETIC! There are places in this country that pay $217 a year in taxes total on houses much nicer than those assessed at $321,000 in New Milford.
Tomasina Schwarz May 09, 2013 at 04:39 PM
Governor Christie tries to boast about tax caps in his commercials-there is no such thing. School budgets and municipal budgets are not really capped. What we need is more money from the state and federal income tax to pay for infrastructure and education. The millionaires in Bergen County are totally protected from not paying their fair share of taxes. Please review history, there was a time in our country when anyone who made a million dollars paid over 50% federal tax on that income. Our country still flourished and no one was hiding their money in Bermuda!!! Now Christie refuses to tax the millionaires while us working class and middle class schmucks constantly pay high property and income tax that support the education in Mississippi. Very little of my state income taxes pay for my child's education. If the millionaires paid a fair tax, we would have more tax revenue, it's that simple. If the millionaires and corporations actually paid taxes, we would have more money for education besides property taxes. The corporate tax rate in this country is a joke, no one pays it because they hide their money overseas so it doesn't matter what the rate is!!!! The corporations want the rate lowered-what a joke. There is no cap, remember that when you consider voting for Christie in the next election.
Rory G. May 09, 2013 at 05:19 PM
There's one factor that seems to always be omitted when the subject of taxing millionaires comes up. NJ residents that work in NYC and Philadelphia pay income tax to NY and PA on those earnings, then get a credit against their NJ income tax for the taxes paid to the other state. Therefore, they pay relatively little in NJ income tax. That rule is the same for both low-income people and the high earners. State tax increases will wind up putting more of a burden on those who work in NJ than those who commute outside the state. As far as "fair share" goes, it's a nice-sounding phrase that Bill Clinton made popular twenty years ago, but establishing exactly what the fair share should be is something that will never be agreed upon, thanks to both the greed of the haves and the greed of the have-nots.
John May 09, 2013 at 05:23 PM
Maybe we should spend less on gov employees. Maybe we should use the tax money from the gas and use it for what it was intended for.Maybe we can educate our kids more by more school days w/o salary increases for the teachers. And maybe the NJEA can have their convention during the summer so the kids can STAY IN SCHOOL!
Sophie's Mom May 09, 2013 at 06:54 PM
to Rory G: Please complain to NJ companies - believe me it's no fun taking the bus to NY everyday and walking 8 blocks to get to that bus but guess what, companies in NJ pay half the salary that NY companies do. I know because I make it a point to check available jobs in NJ periodically. If I did not make the salary I make in NY I would not be able to afford my home, which is nothing out of this world (still original kitchen & bath from the 60s) and I would not be able to afford other necessatities. I am not one of these Bergen County women that lives a "champagne lifestyle on a beer budget" - I don't buy/lease a new car every couple of years or spending every free moment at GS Plaza or Riverside Sq. Mall. .I buy used American cars and use it until it's on it's last leg and believe me I pay an extreme amount of property tax...$9600 which is insane - I think I'm in sane for wanting to live in Bergen County come to think of it!
Rory G. May 09, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Lourdes, I wasn't complaining about the NY/NJ thing because I work for a NY company and pay almost all my state taxes to Albany. I would love to abandon that commute myself. I was just trying to point out how raising tax rates on millionaires who work on Wall Street won't necessarily bring in all the tax dollars to NJ that most people think it will. I think that politicians that say taxing the rich (which I am not) will solve our problems are only trying to get the lower & middle class to think "he/she's on my side" and get their votes. I also think that the politicians who don't take that position are just as disingenuous.
Jeffrey DelVecchio May 09, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Teachers get paid for the days that they work just as you do. If they are expected to work more days they should be paid for it. Compare an equally educated private sector employee's salary to that of a teacher. Teachers make far less money considering their education and training.
Jeffrey DelVecchio May 09, 2013 at 10:51 PM
Income tax should be eliminated and replaced with use tax.
asskickinglass May 10, 2013 at 02:50 AM
It comes down to simple economics. Just as in our households when your expenses are more than your income, it's time to cut back and perhaps shelve some projects that are not affordable at this time. Do we really need to do all those improvements at once? Can't we wait on a few until we can afford it? The answer can't always be raise taxes, there comes a point when enough is enough. Municipal and educational budgets need to balance their needs within their budgets and stop taking more and more.
Karl M. Sajdera May 10, 2013 at 01:01 PM
You know what happens when I have unanticipated projects that I don't have the money for? They don't get done until I do. I can't just go to my boss and decide I'm going to get a raise because I need more cash flow. But government is a different story. Last year we got the notices that the houses were going to be reassessed (at a lower value) and that must have struck fear into the local government. They don't like less revenue coming in. So the creative minds came up with "unanticipated projects" so they could go beyond the cap...legally, of course. It works that way when the fox runs the hen house. They want their money and they'll get it one way or another. I'll remember this on election day.
Lori Barton May 11, 2013 at 12:43 AM
@John: Just a point of reference. Teachers are not paid for the NJEA convention days. They are not paid for any legal holidays. They don't work those days but they only get paid for the days they work. If their contract says their school year is 187 days, then they get paid for the 187 days they are in school and not for any of the others.


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