First Budget Workshop On February 23rd
By Saul Qersdyn
Published: February 22, 2017 @ 6:00 AM EDT
2017’s first municipal budget workshop is scheduled for Thursday, February 23rd, at 6:30 p.m.
Unlike almost every other municipality, Roselle Park’s governing body conducts its budget review in public. This allows for residents to see what goes into how their municipal government spends taxpayer dollars beyond a final budget report. Department heads from the police to fire to public works to the library to emergency management are called in to explain – in the public eye – the reasons for their annual requests for funds.
Sheets are provided to residents who attend workshops so they can follow Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ken Blum as he explains various line items including purchases, salaries, benefits, state mandates, contractual obligations, and revenues (fees, fines, grants, property taxes, state aid, etc.).
The municipal budget is separated into two major sections: operating and capital. Capital budget items include road improvements, heavy equipment purchases, and some expenditures that require a large disbursement of funds which are often financed by bonds or notes.
Historically, around 30¢ to 35¢ of every dollar paid through property taxes go to the municipal government services described above. School taxes – which comprise between 50¢ and 55¢ of every property tax dollar – are not under the control of the municipal government. The remaining amount of property taxes covers county taxes, open space funding, and library appropriations.
Budget workshops will be held at the second-floor conference room in the Roselle Park Municipal Complex located at 110 East Westfield Avenue.