Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The nearly $412 million budget includes a $310 million tax levy.
Passaic County freeholders introduced a $411.8 million budget Tuesday that raises taxes by less than 2 percent. The introduced tax levy is $310.8 million, a 1.9 percent jump from last year. The increase is $2.8 million less than what is allowed by the state budget cap. “This budget represents another step in the right direction,” said Freeholder John Bartlett, a Wayne resident. “We are bringing the increase under the 2 percent cap and still providing a lot of programs and services to Wayne residents.” Bartlett referenced the county’s Meals on Wheels program and the nearly 29 miles of roadways that were either repaved or repaired since 2008. The county has reduced its full-time employees to 1,854 from 2,392 in 2006, nearly a 23 percent …
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Backroom deals and uninformed voting continue to rule in June.
The end of June is the worst time in Trenton. It is rivaled only by the end of a legislative session in January, though the shenanigans that happen in the lame duck session generally don’t involve the spending of billions of the people’s tax dollars. The games that began last week in the State House, and will continue this week, are textbook displays of political partisanship, backroom deals and poor public policy making, not to mention a disregard for people. Take, for instance, last Monday’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing. The committee set a start time of 9:30 a.m. and the room was packed as there were 21 bills on the agenda. Some of those bills were very controversial, and others in various stages of un-readiness: …
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Council must eliminate at least $575,000 from budget to meet 2 percent increase cap.
The Bloomingdale municipal budget for the 2012 fiscal year was introduced by title at the borough council meeting Tuesday night. The introduced budget is increased more than $700,000 over last year’s adopted budget of $9,565,199. As the borough is mandated by the state to not surpass a 2 percent tax levy increase, the council needs to shave off at least $575,000 before the budget is finalized. With two months before the budget reaches its public hearing on June 26, council members expressed confidence that they can reduce costs and find new revenues without cutting essential services. “Last year, our budget was originally introduced $900,000 over [the 2 percent tax levy increase],” Councilwoman Linda Shortman said. Since they were able to …
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Newest freeholder votes no on first budget.
The Morris County Board of Freeholders adopted a 2012 $317 million budget Wednesday that calls for a half-cent property tax increase. The budget sets the tax rate at 21.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. That does not include school and municipal taxes, which are set separately. The freeholders previously shaved one-quarter cent off the open space tax. The budget was passed by a 6-to-1 margin, with the newest freeholder, William “Hank” Lyon of Montville, casting the sole “no” vote. “When I ran last year I said I’d cut taxes,’ he said. The project that concerned him the most is the new county emergency management center under construction in Parsippany. The freeholders' own news release on the budget is as follows: The Morris County …
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Council concerned that state keeps most of the utility receipt taxes collected by the local electric company.
The Butler Council introduced a $10.48 million 2012 budget Tuesday that calls for a $78 property tax increase on the average assessed home. Council President Edwin Vath said the budget was affected by the recent bad economy as the council saw a decrease in revenue from construction permits, less return on investments and an increase in debt service. He said the budget’s tax levy is $34,312 below the state-mandated 2 percent cap. The 2012 budget is supported by a tax levy of $6.3 million, which raised the tax rate from 80.7 cents per $100 of assessed value to 84 cents. The borough's average home assessment is $252,000, Vath said. The borough’s 2012 water utility budget is estimated at $1.89 million and electric budget was estimated at $28 …
Monday, February 27, 2012
State aid is up for schools and flat for municipalities, but despite Gov. Christie's generosity, it's still less than before he took office.
Gov. Chris Christie’s budget announcement last week had relatively good news for local officials. Relatively. Aid to schools would rise an average of 9 percent throughout Morris County under the governor’s budget proposal. Every district in Morris would get more state aid in the coming year, with increases ranging from 1 percent in Lincoln Park to 34.7 percent in Mendham Township, which just happens to be Christie’s hometown. The only aid decrease nearby is in Hopatcong, which would lose 6.4 percent of its aid, or $764,000, although there are some even bigger decreases elsewhere in the state: Wildwood Crest, Monmouth Regional and Seaside Park are among those facing double-digit cuts in aid. Any increase in aid is, of course, good news. But…
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Gurbiz votes against taking away public voting on the school budget.
The Bloomingdale Board of Education followed in the footsteps Monday night of many local school districts—including Kinnelon and Butler—by voting to eliminate the district's annual budget vote and move the school board election to November. Board Member Cathy Gurbisz was the only board member who opposed. New Jersey school districts were given the option by the state to eliminate their school budget votes for four years if they keep their budgets within the 2 percent state-mandated tax levy cap and move their school board member elections to November. All school districts have until Feb. 17 to decide whether to move this year's election. Prior to voting Monday, Gurbisz voiced her concern that with issues the school district is facing, such…
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Everyone has opinions. Patch is the place to share them.
The Bloomingdale Council adopted a $9,565,199 budget Tuesday night that represented a $44,900 reduction (or 3 percent) from the 2011 budget that was introduced last month. The budget needed to be reduced to be under the state-mandated 2 percent cap, but while taxes are expected to increase by about $126 for the average home assessed at $147,000, some feel the budget should have been reduced further. Council President Linda Huntley said the council wanted to leave some money available in the budget in case of an emergency. For today's Question of the Day, we're asking: Do you think Bloomingdale's 2011 Municipal Budget should have been reduced further or less? Join the conversation in the comments below.
Monday, June 27, 2011
The state's fiscal mess is mostly not their fault.
Over the last few weeks, the battle over New Jersey public employee pensions and health benefits has been fierce. Last week, the workers wound up the losers. The issues often are portrayed as simple ones—the unions are bullies who strong-armed state or local employers to get cushy perks for their members, or the governor and Legislature are the bullies stealing hard won benefits and collective bargaining rights from poor workers. It’s actually much more complicated than that. Way back 20 or 30 years ago, there was pretty much no doubt that New Jersey’s public workers on a whole were low-paid compared with people in the private sector. If you went to work in a public job, it was for the benefits, particularly for a good pension. Then came …
Friday, June 17, 2011
Mayor said he does not support budget, but that some things were 'outside our control.'
The Kinnelon Council adopted its $12.2 million 2011 budget during a regular council meeting Thursday, but not before Mayor Bob Collins expressed his concerns about the inclusion of $50,000 for the potential hiring of a business administrator and the challenges that could face the borough in 2012 as a result of this year's budget. The budget comes with a tax levy of $7,813,439.71, in addition to a separate line item for library taxes of $771,503- an increase of 3.98 percent over last year's tax levy. Councilman Stephen Cobell, who serves as the council liaison to the finance committe, said that from 2009 to 2010, the tax levy increase was 5.38 percent, meaning this year's increase is lower than the previous year's. The budget is also below …