Hopewell Borough Council introduces $3.33 million municipal budget

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Hopewell Borough officials are expecting a reduction in revenue due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, after they introduced a $3.33 million budget to fund municipal operations for 2020.

Hopewell Borough council members will hold a public hearing for the 2020 municipal budget on June 4.

“We are adding no new programs. We have obviously trimmed line item by line item, wherever we could,” said Michele Hovan, borough administrator for Hopewell. “Most importantly, in this budget we are trying to forecast how the economy is going to impact us right now. We expect that there will be a reduction in interest and a reduction in a lot of revenue sources such as court costs, (municipal) fees and (police) tickets.”

Hovan added that officials are also anticipating a possible slower tax collection rate, “which means we will have to cover the difference just in case there is a little bit of a delay. We are expecting that hard times are ahead and not acting as if nothing is happening,” she said. “If the revenue is not lower it will be great news at the end of the day. We are preparing and keeping the budget flat at the same time.”

There are no cuts in township services with the budget, according to officials.

The budget does not include an increase in the municipal tax rate, which is expected to remain stable at 62.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

The owner of an average home that is still assessed at $426,000 will pay $2,679 in municipal taxes to support the budget in 2020.

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

The amount an individual pays in taxes is determined by the assessed value of his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Residential and commercial property owners are projected to pay a $1.99 million tax levy to support the 2020 budget.

The 2019 budget totaled $3.26 million. Residential and commercial property owners paid a tax levy of $1.99 million to support the budget.

In the 2019 budget, officials used $271,000 from the surplus funds as revenue in the budget.

For 2020, officials will use $304,578 from the surplus funds as revenue in the budget.

In addition to property taxes and funds from surplus, revenues in the 2020 budget are projected to include $657,618 in miscellaneous revenues and $170,313 in state aid.

Hopewell Borough’s budget covers the cost of providing public safety including law enforcement through the police department, general government, public works, salaries and wages, shared service agreements, and insurance.