East Windsor council introduces $22.5 million budget for 2020


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.”