Municipal tax rate remains flat in Cranbury

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The municipal tax rate will remain flat for Cranbury property owners.

Mayor Mike Ferrante, Deputy Mayor Eman El-Badawi, Committeewoman Barbara Rogers, Committeewoman Lisa Knierim, and Committeeman Matt Scott, voted “yes” to adopt the $14.5 million municipal budget after a public hearing on March 13.

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The municipal budget increases approximately $1.7 million from 2022’s budget, which was $12.8 million.

The major difference is “we have put $1 million set aside to work on capital projects, ” Township Administrator Denise Marabello said.

In 2023, the municipal tax rate is projected at 38 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of an average assessed home at $606,563 will pay $2,304 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 his home and/or property, and the tax rate that is set by each taxing entity.

Cranbury’s residential and commercial owners support the municipal appropriations through a tax levy and with the 2023 municipal budget at $14.5 million the tax levy is projected to be $7.4 million, a slight increase from $7.3 million in 2022.

On the revenues side of the 2023 budget, Cranbury will use $2.28 million from the surplus as revenue in the budget. In the 2021 budget, officials used $1.79 million from the surplus funds as revenue in the budget.

“This year we are using $2.28 million in surplus and again $1 million of that is being set aside for capital projects,” Marabello said.

Other revenues in the 2023 budget include: $2.07 million in sewer service fees, $594,512 from reserve for development fees, $491,381 in state aid, which is an increase from the amount received in 2022; $435,213 in grants, $369,218 from hotel tax, and $212,843 from the American Rescue Plan.

On the appropriations side of the budget for 2023, the budget will fund appropriations such as $2.27 million on police salaries and wages, $1.69 million towards municipal debt service, $1.2 million towards insurance, $1.2 million on shared service agreements, $365,598 for roads, salary and wages and other expenses, $150,764 sewer salary and wages, and $74,526 in aid to the volunteer fire company.

Marabello said there are number of future capital projects in the works planned for 2024-27.

“We have signage, fire company expenses over the next couple of years, police HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning)/pistol replacement, Bike Network Plan, major road repairs in the amount of $2.2 million, all-inclusive playground should we decide to move forward with that, pickle ball courts if we decide to move forward with that, energy audit improvements, and then sewer improvements over the next few years,” she said.

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