Pennington Council to hold public hearing in May on $4.49 million municipal budget

Pennington Borough Hall contains both the police department and the municipal court.

Members of the Pennington Borough Council have scheduled a public hearing on the 2021 municipal budget for May 3.

The Pennington Council introduced the budget on April 5. Council President Catherine Chandler, Councilwoman Deborah Gnatt, Councilwoman Beverly Mills, Councilwoman Liz Semple, and Councilman Ken Gross voted “yes” to introduce the budget.

Councilman Charles Marciante was the dissenting vote in the meeting.

“This is not the year to be raising taxes. The school board realizes it this year, they are not doing it,” Marciante said on April 5. “People are moving out of Pennington as soon as their children get out of school. I’m not happy with a budget that goes up 2%. I think it is crazy to be raising taxes again. Count on it if you bring that budget up I am voting no.”

Pennington’s municipal appropriations are increasing from $3.82 million in 2020 to $4.49 million in the 2021 budget.

The borough’s residential and commercial owners support the municipal appropriations through a tax levy. In 2021, the tax levy is projected to be $2.70 million, an increase from 2020’s $2.57 million.

The 2020 budget totaled $3.82 million. Residential and commercial property owners paid a total tax levy of $2.40 million to support the budget.

In 2021, the municipal tax rate is projected to be 49 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home that is still assessed at $484,000 pays $2,371 in municipal taxes. The municipal tax rate increased by two cents from 47 cents in 2020.

An owner of a home assessed at $484,000 paid $2,274 in 2020 municipal taxes.

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.

On the revenues portion of the 2021 budget, Pennington will use $437,546 from the surplus as revenue in the budget. In the 2020 budget, officials used $366,915 from the surplus funds as revenue in the budget. Other revenues in the 2021 budget include $135,000 in uniform construction code fees, $187,581 in state aid, which is the same amount received in 2020; and $533,499 in public and private revenues.

On the appropriations side of the budget for 2021, the budget will fund appropriations such as $632,000 in police salaries and wages, $235,000 on the payment of bond principal, $182,354 on shared service agreements, $210,000 on employee group health, $114,000 engineering services and costs, and $275,000 roads salary and wages.