Budget Workshops Have Average Tax Increase At $121

Budget Workshops Have Average Tax Increase At $121thumbnail
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Published: March 16, 2017 @ 6:00 AM EST

The two municipal budget workshops – held on February 23rd and March 9th – have property taxes, on average, increasing by around $121.44 for a house assessed at $253,000. This is an almost 30% increase of $27.83 from last year’s budget.

In a break with decades-old practice, the current administration has decided to adjust the average assessment from last year’s to reflect valuation rates. The average used this year is $251,000. At this rate, the average increase is $95.94 but this does not maintain a baseline that can show comparable changes in the municipal tax impact from year-to-year. Previously – before the townwide revaluation – a standard assessed value of $65,000 was used for years as the comparable baseline. Comparing apples to apples at the $253,000 average assessment, this is the third highest increase this century for the municipality.

This increase is only for the municipal portion of property taxes but it takes into account funds paid to the library for their state mandated. In New Jersey, property taxes are composed of municipal, school, county, and open space taxes as well as the required library minimum.

The workshops were run by Fifth Ward Councilman Thomas ‘Thos’ Shipley who is the finance chair. The review of the budget was conducted by Roselle Park’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ken Blum.

The amount to be raised by taxes this year for municipal services is $468,599.98. If this increase holds, it will bring the average portion of property taxes paid to the municipality to $3,225.75. Last year, the total average property taxes paid for a house assessed at $253,000 was $9,641.83. This year’s average will be calculated once all components of property taxes are certified by the state later this year.

This budget will maintain the following services that residents have most requested:

  • Fireworks (paid through a fund collected from individual and corporate donations)
  • Two (2) bulk pick-ups (June and October)
  • Two (2) holiday parades (Memorial Day and Christmas Holiday)
  • 2% raises for all employees across the board (union and non-union)

Salaries in total increased by $393,117 (6.84%). The decrease in the borough clerk’s office was due to the retirement of Doreen Cali and the hiring of Andrew Casais as Borough Cerk. The finance department had an increase to new staff. The police department had an increase due, in part, to costs associated with bail reform which was a referendum approved by voters in November.

Description
2017
Budget
2016
Budget
Difference
($)
Difference
(%)
Mayor and Council
$58,960.00
$58,960.00
$0.00
0.00%
Municipal Clerk
$230,500.00
$242,122.00
($11,622.00)
-4.80%
Financial Administration
$281,011.00
$235,110.00
$45,901.00
19.52%
Revenue Administration
$32,598.00
$74,800.00
($42,202.00)
-56.42%
Assessment of Taxes
$17,715.00
$14,252.00
$3,463.00
24.30%
Municipal Court
$219,065.00
$227,346.00
($8,281.00)
-3.64%
MLUB
$2,425.00
$2,377.00
$48.00
2.02%
Fire
$42,160.00
$41,330.00
$830.00
2.01%
Fire Official
$14,455.00
$13,190.00
$1,265.00
9.59%
Police
$3,488,604.00
$3,390,614.00
$97,990.00
2.89%
Traffic Controls Schools
$259,923.00
$255,970.00
$3,953.00
1.54%
Emergency Management
$8,615.00
$8,445.00
$170.00
2.01%
Public Works
$896,125.00
$841,550.00
$54,575.00
6.49%
Recycling
$4,025.00
$3,945.00
$80.00
2.03%
Board of Health
$5,655.00
$4,752.00
$903.00
19.00%
Recreation
$10,380.00
$5,500.00
$4,880.00
88.73%
Community Center
$47,580.00
$46,865.00
$715.00
1.53%
Farmer's Market
$3,735.00
$3,662.00
$73.00
1.99%
Code Enforcement
$307,395.00
$165,069.00
$142,326.00
86.22%
Maintenance of 911
$79,100.00
$82,050.00
($2,950.00)
-3.60%
Compensated Absences
$131,000.00
$30,000.00
$101,000.00
336.67%
Salary Adjustment Account
$
$
$0.00
0.0%
TOTAL
$6,141,026.00
$5,747,909.00
$393,117.00
6.84%

Major decreases in other expenses include decreases in the following:

  • Historical Society due to a reduction in rent;
  • Municipal Land Use Board due to the one-time charge last year for review of the Master Plan;
  • Municipal Prosecutor due to council choosing to not renew Russell Huegel’s contract for a saving of $15,000

There was an increase in the public defender’s line item due to the municipality having to cover the lack of reimbursement from the courts to pay the prosecutor. The library was given an additional $15,000 over their state mandated minimum taxpayer contribution. The celebration of public events increased to $30,000 which is a $10,000 reduction from the Casano Center’s original request.Other expenses were mostly due to increases in fees charged to the municipality.

Description
2017
Budget
2016
Budget
Difference
($)
Difference
(%)
Mayor and Council
$11,000.00
$11,000.00
$-
0.00%
Municipal Clerk
$85,575.00
$85,575.00
$-
0.00%
Financial Administration
$35,000.00
$33,385.00
$1,615.00
4.84%
Audit Services
$45,525.00
$49,715.00
($4,190.00)
-8.43%
Revenue Administration
$16,000.00
$16,000.00
$-
0.00%
Assessment of Taxes
$5,650.00
$5,650.00
$-
0.00%
Liquidation of Tax Title Liens and Foreclosed Property
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Tax Appeals
$40,000.00
$40,000.00
$-
0.00%
Legal Services and Costs
$70,000.00
$70,000.00
$-
0.00%
Municipal Court
$13,880.00
$13,880.00
$-
0.00%
Engineering Services and Costs
$21,000.00
$21,000.00
$-
0.00%
Public Defender
$7,500.00
$2,500.00
$5,000.00
200.00%
Human:resources
$30,000.00
$30,000.00
$-
0.00%
Historical Society
$10,000.00
$10,375.00
($375.00)
-3.61%
Municipal Land Use Board
$15,000.00
$38,850.00
($23,850.00)
-61.39%
Fire
$89,285.00
$89,285.00
$-
0.00%
Fire Official
$1,700.00
$1,700.00
$-
0.00%
Police
$234,550.00
$234,550.00
$-
0.00%
Traffic Controls Schools
$15,200.00
$15,200.00
$-
0.00%
First Aid Organizations
$12,950.00
$12,950.00
$-
0.00%
Emergency Management
$14,500.00
$12,000.00
$2,500.00
20.83%
Borough Prosecutor
$313.00
$15,000.00
($14,687.00)
-97.91%
Public Works
$85,000.00
$85,000.00
$-
0.00%
Garbage Disposal
$355,000.00
$359,000.00
($4,000.00)
-1.11%
Garbage Collection
$400,000.00
$395,000.00
$5,000.00
1.27%
Recycling
$329,000.00
$327,000.00
$2,000.00
0.61%
Recycling Tax
$1,500.00
$1,500.00
$-
0.00%
Public Buildings and Grounds
$130,000.00
$130,000.00
$-
0.00%
Maintenance of Vehicles
$130,000.00
$130,000.00
$-
0.00%
Board of Heal Th
$139,637.00
$137,727.00
$1,910.00
1.39%
Animal Control
$5,025.00
$4,975.00
$50.00
1.01%
Recreation
$21,400.00
$19,100.00
$2,300.00
12.04%
Community Center
$11,425.00
$7,000.00
$4,425.00
63.21%
Youth Center
$72,000.00
$72,000.00
$-
0.00%
Celebration of Public Events
$30,000.00
$19,950.00
$10,050.00
50.38%
Municipal Services Act
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Farmer's Market
$1,500.00
$1,500.00
$-
0.00%
Code Enforcement
$11,600.00
$19,500.00
($7,900.00)
-40.51%
Street Lighting
$206,000.00
$206,000.00
$-
0.00%
Fire Hydrant Services
$122,000.00
$122,000.00
$-
0.00%
Cable Tv - Channel 34
$15,000.00
$15,000.00
$-
0.00%
Telephone
$92,000.00
$92,000.00
$-
0.00%
Electricity
$107,000.00
$107,000.00
$-
0.00%
Water
$20,000.00
$20,000.00
$-
0.00%
Gas
$40,000.00
$40,000.00
$-
0.00%
Gasoline
$115,000.00
$115,000.00
$-
0.00%
Contingent
$2,000.00
$2,000.00
$-
0.00%
Prior Years Bills
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Pers
$275,334.00
$266,326.00
$9,008.00
3.38%
Social Security
$271,600.00
$247,750.00
$23,850.00
9.63%
Consolidated Police & Firemen's Pension Fund
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
PFRS
$782,521.00
$787,498.00
($4,977.00)
-0.63%
State Unemployment Insurance
$60,000.00
$60,000.00
$-
0.00%
DCRP
$8,000.00
$7,100.00
$900.00
12.68%
Maintenance of Free Public Library
$405,000.00
$390,000.00
$15,000.00
3.85%
Maintenance of 911
$41,900.00
$44,875.00
($2,975.00)
-6.63%
LOSAP
$63,250.00
$63,250.00
$-
0.00%
Implementation of Fair Housing Plan
$90,000.00
$90,000.00
$-
0.00%
Group Insurance Plan for Employees
$1,799,000.00
$1,790,000.00
$9,000.00
0.50%
Heal Th Benefits Waiver
$65,000.00
$60,000.00
$5,000.00
8.33%
Workers Compensation
$478,000.00
$462,000.00
$16,000.00
3.46%
Other Insurance
$348,000.00
$340,000.00
$8,000.00
2.35%
Clean Communities Grant
$-
$25,794.87
($25,794.87)
-100.00%
Safe and Secure Grant
$60,000.00
$60,000.00
$-
0.00%
Safe and Secure Grant Match
$246,633.00
$242,850.00
$3,783.00
1.56%
Matching Funds for Grants
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Alcohol Education Rehabilitation Grant
$-
$5,499.26
($5,499.26)
-100.00%
Municipal Alliance Fund Grant
$18,582.00
$18,582.00
$-
0.00%
Municipal Alliance Fund Grant Match
$4,645.00
$4,645.00
$-
0.00%
Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund
$-
$12,197.92
($12,197.92)
-100.00%
Drive Sober or Get Pulled over Grant
$-
$10,000.00
($10,000.00)
-100.00%
Farmer's Market Grant
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Farmer's Market Grant Match
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Body Armor Grant
$-
$3,226.75
($3,226.75)
-100.00%
Recycling Tonnage Grant
$7,895.57
$8,188.13
($292.56)
-3.57%
Union County Kids Recreation Trust Fund Grant
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Over the Limit under Arrest Grant
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Greening Union County Grant
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Greening Union County Grant Match
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Click it or Ticket Grant
$-
$5,000.00
($5,000.00)
-100.00%
Bullet Proof Vest Partnership Grant
$-
$5,720.00
($5,720.00)
-100.00%
Union County Recycling Enhancement
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Grant
$-
$1,000.00
($1,000.00)
-100.00%
Union County Heart Grant
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Green Communities Grant
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Green Communities Grant Match
$-
$-
$0.00
0.00%
Capital Improvement Fund
$100,000.00
$100,000.00
$0.00
0.00%
Bond Principal
$1,540,000.00
$1,295,000.00
$245,000.00
18.92%
Interest on Bonds
$553,725.81
$471,239.00
$82,486.81
17.50%
Interest on Notes
$-
$-
$0.00
0.00%
Green Trust Loan Program
$11,659.66
$11,659.66
$0.00
0.00%
Deficit in Dedicated Assessment
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Trust Fund
$20,000.00
$20,000.00
$-
0.00%
Deferred Charges to Future Taxation
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Judgments
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Revaluation
$-
$-
$-
0.00%
Reserve for Uncollected Taxes
$996,483.00
$950,466.00
$46,017.00
4.84%
TOTAL
$11,463,944.04
$11,096,734.59
$367,209.45
3.31%

This budget is expected to be introduced at the March 16th Mayor & Council meeting in Borough Hall at 7 p.m.