Cranbury Township anticipates flat tax rate for 2022 municipal budget

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The Cranbury Township tax rate is expected to remain flat for residents during the 2022 year.

At a budget meeting on Jan. 29, Administrator Denise Marabello, who is also the township’s chief financial officer, informed the Township Committee that there would be no increase or decrease to the tax rate for 2022.

“In order to do that we will need to use $1.79 million of surplus (savings). By the end of 2021, we have $7.8 million of surplus and we are going to use almost $1.8 million of that to balance the budget,” she said.

In 2021, the municipal tax rate was 34.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation after the Township Committee adopted the $12.95 million municipal budget, according to 2021 budget documents.

The owner of a home that was assessed at $606,000 paid $2,102 in municipal taxes.

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

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

“Our assessed value estimates, as well as our added assessment estimates from the tax assessor, are going up the next couple of years due to Toll Brothers and the completion of warehouses. By 2026, everything is leveling off,” Marabello said. “Keeping the tax rate flat is not going to be an issue for this year. As we have done in the past, we are just making sure that we are balancing how much surplus we use with how much we are getting back to make sure that when we do level off we are still in a good financial position.”

Asked by Township Committeewoman Evelyn Spann about if there is a time when the tax rate could decrease, Marabello said, “maybe a 3-cent tax decrease down the road, but not a 10-cent decrease. It is a conversation we can have each year, as we look at things, but I would not recommend that now or even next year.

“To be honest in order to decrease it enough for it to be beneficial to the taxpayer, you are talking about a 10-cent tax decrease, we would have to use over $3 million worth of surplus to do that based on our estimates,” she added. “We would have to continue to use that kind of surplus and I can assure you that we will never replenish $3 million in surplus in a year. That is a lot of surplus to replenish. In the history on this spreadsheet we have never replenished $3 million.”