East Windsor council introduces $22.5 million budget for 2020

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East Windsor Township residents will not see an increase in the municipal property tax rate for the eighth straight year.

That news is the result of the proposed $22.5 million budget for 2020 that was introduced at the Township Council’s March 24 meeting.

Officials said the municipal tax rate will remain unchanged at 43 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a house assessed at the township average of $258,825 will pay about $1,120 in municipal property taxes for 2020 – the same amount as last year.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s total tax bill, which also includes school taxes and county taxes.

Township officials will collect a total of $12.2 million from East Windsor’s residential and commercial property owners to support the budget.

A public hearing on the 2020 budget and the spending plan’s final adoption is set for the council’s April 21 meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building.

Municipalities rely on several sources of revenue to support the budget – from the use of surplus funds (savings) to miscellaneous revenues such as licences, fees and permits, municipal court fines and costs, and a hotel tax. The remainder is generated through property taxes.

In East Windsor’s proposed budget, alcoholic beverage licenses are expected to generate $32,950. Court fines and fees are expected to generate $434,248 and the hotel tax is projected to produce $210,000 in revenue.

Construction code fees are projected to generate $387,572. Shared service agreements for animal control, the senior citizens center and police dispatch will produce $252,261.

Officials will apply $3.2 million from the township’s surplus funds to support the budget. They expect to receive $3.5 million in state aid – an amount that has not changed since 2010.

On the spending side, the budget allocates $5.7 million for police department salaries and $412,825 in other expenses such as general administration, support service and training.

The budget for public works allocates $683,401 in salaries and $492,070 for road repairs and maintenance, plus maintenance of municipally owned buildings and the municipal fleet of cars and trucks.

“There are a few things to note,” Mayor Janice S. Mironov said of the proposed budget.

The 2020 budget is $84,426 more than the 2019 budget, Mironov said. The amount to be raised by taxes increased by $23,047 – from $12.19 million in 2019 to $12.21 million in 2020. Officials had the option to raise the tax levy to $12.58 million for 2020.

“This really underscores the tight spending and sensitivity to the taxpayers by the mayor and council. We could have increased the local (municipal) property tax rate by 7 cents,” Mironov said. “This budget is very responsible. Overall, it is very conservative, but a very responsive budget for the taxpayers. It maintains a high level of services. It meets the needs of the taxpayers.”