The Maplewood Township Committee approved a $41.88 million 2016 municipal budget at its April 19 meeting that will translate into a municipal tax increase of 1.96% — or an $82 annual increase for the average homeowner.
The rate of increase is beneath the 2% cap allowed by the state.
The budget, originally introduced at $41.5 million on March 15, was increased in the amount of $334,700, mainly due to $274,700 in grant funds awarded to the Township after budget introduction. However, the projected tax increase of 1.96% was not impacted by the grants, explained the town’s CFO Juan Uribe: “Grants have an offsetting appropriation, meaning they are a pass through the budget without any impact on the tax rate.”
Uribe noted that “the $60,000 increase in the two other items [$40K in police salary and wages and $20K in legal expenses] did not have an impact on the tax rate either since there was a compensating revenue item (cancellation of approp. reserve) by the same amount.”
See the amendment to the budget and the full 2016 budget below.
The budget includes maintaining two police officers hired last year and will allow for the hiring of two new firefighters, said Mayor Vic DeLuca at the March 15 meeting during which the budget was introduced.
Overall spending is increasing 2.9%, said DeLuca. Cost drivers include a 2% salary raise for township employees, a 14% rise in group health insurance premiums and an 8% increase in the bond principal payments.
Although Maplewood entered the year with an $8.6 million reduction in the net valuation of taxable properties (largely because of a $15 million reduction in the value for Winchester Gardens), new ratables helped to offset the loss, DeLuca said.
Read more about the budget here.