Montclair introduced its Municipal Budget recently. File Photo

By Tina Pappas
for Montclair Local

Montclair homeowners could see an 1.68 percent increase on their municipal tax bill for 2018. The council introduced the budget at the Feb. 20 council meeting.
The budget is preliminary and could change before final adoption by the council, according to Chief Financial Officer Padmaja Rao.

What it means for homeowners

Last year, the owner of the average home assessed at $510,600 paid $4,820 in municipal taxes. With the proposed budget, the owner of the average assessed home of $626,100 is projected to pay $4,901 in municipal taxes this year.
An increase of $81 for the entire year for this average homeowner.

Total budget
and tax levy
The total projected municipal budget is $87,481,430, up $1,364,322 from the 2017 budget of $86,117,108.
The municipal tax levy or the amount raised by property taxes, is $55,095,563, a 1.85 percent increase from last year’s amount of $54,094,809. The township’s anticipated surplus is at $4,750,000.

Estimated total tax bill
The average homeowner owning a home at $626,100 is estimated to pay a total tax bill -including schools, municipal and county – of $19,401. Schools and county budgets have not been introduced yet.

Budget highlights
• Library budget remains flat at $3,418,093.
• Public safety appropriations include police salaries at $15,050,355, up $645,188. Budget includes the hiring of 3 more officers, bringing the force up to 112, 3 more dispatchers and 5 additional crossing guards.
• Fire salaries are projected at $10,594,751, up $430,019.
• Health Department budget includes an additional full-time nurse in the Health department
• Rate increases for tipping fees and recycling costs will also be sustained, as well as additional support for building and construction focusing on reduced permit turnaround.
• Medical insurance costs for township employees went down $103,767 from $6,863,766.

What’s next?
The budget hearing and vote for the proposed spending plan will take place at the March 20 township council meeting. The council will also introduce a $10 million capital improvement projects plan covering roads, park fields and equipment at the next meeting.

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