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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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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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