Members of the Hopewell Borough Council have introduced a $3.98 million budget to fund borough operations for 2022.
The 2022 municipal budget was introduced on April 7. A public hearing is scheduled for the council’s May 5 meeting.
“In this we are preparing for the cost increases as everybody does in their budgets right now. There are no new services and no new employees,” Borough Administrator Michele Hovan said on April 7. “This is really just a ‘keeping the pace’ budget. We have a lot of debt and we are paying that down. We are not taking anything away either. We did take a look at that.”
Hovan said officials basically kept everything at 2021 levels in regards to spending that was not out of the borough’s control.
“We continue to not spend what we appropriate every year,” Hovan said.
Hopewell Borough’s municipal appropriations are increasing from $3.54 million in 2021 to $3.98 million in 2022.
Residential and commercial property owners support the appropriations through a tax levy. The tax levy increases from $2.14 million in 2021 to $2.29 million for 2022 budget.
According to budget documents, the current budget does include close to a 4.5-cent increase in the municipal tax rate, which is expected to be 68.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
In 2022, the owner of an average assessed home at $407,700 would pay $2,784 in municipal taxes.
The 2021 municipal tax rate was 63.9 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. In 2021, the owner of an average assessed home at $407,700 paid $2,605 in 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 revenue side of the 2022 budget, Hopewell Borough will use $522,500 from the surplus as revenue in the budget, which is increased from the 2021 budget. In the 2021 budget, officials used $393,200 from the surplus funds as revenue in the budget.
Other revenues in the 2022 budget include $331,000 in sewer rents; $170,313 in state aid, which is the same amount received in 2021; $99,749 for 2022 from the American Rescue Plan; and $45,000 in interest on investments and deposits.
“Our surplus is very healthy and I’m happy to say that because we are doing a bond rating now and it is important that we have that,” Hovan said. “We are using more of the surplus to lessen the impact and burden on the taxpayer.”
Hopewell Borough’s budget covers the cost of general government, public works, salaries and wages, shared service agreements, and insurance.
On the appropriations portion of the budget for 2022, the budget will fund $689,232 in municipal debt service, $543,563 on shared service agreements, $531,920 on payment of bond principal, $240,000 to the Stoney Brook Regional Sewerage Authority, $225,000 on administrative and executive wages, $209,500 on public works salary and wages, $119,395 towards maintenance of free library, $106,500 on employee group health insurance, $99,800 for garbage and trash removal and $96,000 in sanitation tipping fees (fees for disposal of waste at a landfill).