By John Heinis/Hudson County View
The introduced $107,188,025 2017 budget includes a 1.25 percent reduction in the municipal tax rate due to a flat municipal tax levy and an increasing ratable base, Zimmer’s office said today.
â€œSince becoming mayor, we have worked with the City Council to restore fiscal discipline and hold the line on taxes, and Iâ€™m pleased that this yearâ€™s budget will provide a modest municipal tax cut,â€ the mayor said in a statement.
â€œTogether, we have passed fully-funded, gimmick-free budgets, restored a responsible budget surplus, and improved our credit rating to AA+ from its near junk bond rating. This yearâ€™s budget also includes a capital plan to make annual investments to continue upgrading our water main system and additional funding to help maintain our expanding parks and green infrastructure.â€
Over the next six years, the city plans to invest $42 million in the water main system. This includes the $7 million water main replacement on Washington Street that is currently underway and $5.2 million for additional improvements authorized for priority areas.
Water main breaks have plagued the Mile Square City for years and have drawn the ire of administration critics on many occasions.
Another $30 million will be allocated through the 6-year capital plan, which also includes an additional $5 million per year over the next 6 years, officials said.
A property ownerâ€™s total tax bill includes three main components: municipal, school, and county taxes, along with smaller components for the library, municipal open space, and county open space.
In 2016, municipal purposes taxes made up approximately 31 percent of total property taxes while County taxes composed 40 percent and school taxes were 24 percent.
A copy of the introduced budget can be seen here and the council will vote whether or not to move the measure forward at tonight’s meeting, which commences at 7 p.m.
A series of budget workshops will be held on the following dates:
Monday, March 27
Police â€“ 6:00pm
Corporation Counsel â€“ 7:00pm
Transportation and Parking â€“ 8:00pm
Wednesday, March 29
Community Development â€“ 6:00pm
Health and Human Services â€“ 7:00pm
Environmental Services â€“ 8:00pm
Monday, April 3
Fire â€“ 6:00pm
Administration and Finance â€“ 7:00pm
City Clerk â€“ 8:00pm