Red Bank Taxes Slated for Slight Rise
The 2013 municipal budget was introduced; public hearings to come.
Red Bank residents should expect to see a hike in taxes this year, but not an insurmountable one, officials said.
The $21 million 2013 budget was introduced at Wednesday night's Borough Council meeting, with a brief overview from Councilman Michael DuPont, the governing body's finance liaison.
The 2013 spending plan calls for a rise in the municipal tax rate from 49.1 to 52.9 cents, translating into "a 3.8-cent increase (per $100 of assessed property value), or about $12.50 a month," DuPont said.
For this budget, DuPont explained, overall revenue decreased by about $200,000 and expenses increased by about 2.39 percent, or $500,000.
"We still have some work to do," DuPont said. "But I will point out that the increase in expenses is largely due to contractual expenses with CWA and PBA (communications and police unions)."
Much of the loss in revenue this year can be accounted for in a great reduction in "the construction permit process that will obviously change next year," he added. "The borough lost about 19 million in ratables," which could be mainly attributed to the economic downturn affecting the borough's assessment base adversely.
The good news, though, DuPont said, is that with this budget there was a reduction in insurance premium hikes. Last year the increase in benenfits was 22 percent. This year it is about 6 percent. Negotiations with unions on the matter were very successful, he said.
Also, "our employees contribute to their health expenses in excess of $200,000 a year," DuPont pointed out.
The public hearing on the budget is slated for the April 24 council meeting.
The municipal budget comprises one portion of the total tax bill, accounting for municipal services. The schools portion comprises more than 60 percent of the bill; and there is also a county tax.