Hopewell Borough’s municipal budget contains no ‘Christmas tree’ items


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Municipal tax rate increases by 3 cents

Hopewell Borough’s 2023 municipal budget maintains and covers all essential “bare minimum” services, according to officials.

The Hopewell Borough Council approved a $4.06 million municipal budget that increases the municipal tax rate for property owners by 3 cents.

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Council President Charles Morehouse, Councilman Ryan Kennedy, Councilwoman Debra Stuhler, Councilman David Mackie, Councilwoman Samara McAuliffe, and Councilwoman Krista Weaver voted “yes” on the budget adoption at the Council’s June 1 meeting.

“There are no surprises in the budget,” Mayor Paul Anzano said. “There are no, I call them Christmas tree items, and no wish lists in the budget.”

Anzano noted that the budget is bare minimum in terms of municipal services.

“We are always struggling to put together a budget that we believe is lean and has minimal reliance on surplus and provides the services we all expect and want in the borough,” Anzano said, thanking the borough staff.

According to budget documents, the adopted budget has a 2.9-cent increase in the municipal tax rate, which is 71.3 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

The owner of an average assessed home at $408,000 will pay $2,909 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.

Hopewell Borough’s municipal appropriations are increasing slightly from $4 million in 2022 to $4.06 million in 2023.

Residential and commercial property owners support the appropriations through a tax levy. This year’s tax levy also increases from $2.2 million to $2.3 million for 2023.

For revenues in the 2023 budget, Hopewell Borough will use $600,000 from surplus as revenue in the budget, which increases by about $59,000.

Other revenues include: $330,000 reserve for debt; $325,000 in sewer rents; $180,374 in state aid, which is a $10,000 increase from aid received in 2022; $140,000 from receipts of delinquent taxes; $28,000 in interest and costs on taxes; $12,450 from the Railroad Station rentals and $9,000 from fees and permits.

Hopewell Borough’s budget covers the cost of general government, public works, salaries and wages, shared service agreements, and insurance.

The budget also accounts for the funds needed to conduct the search for a new borough administrator and having a temporary administrator.

On the appropriations side, the budget will fund $976,539 in municipal debt service, $555,400 on shared service agreements, $245,000 on public works, $202,000 on insurance, $256,000 to the Stoney Brook Regional Sewerage Authority, $190,000 for sanitation, $152,000 towards public employee’s retirement system and social security; and $65,000 for legal services.

Additional appropriations – $61,500 on streetlights, electricity, and gasoline; and $124,000 towards maintenance of the free library.

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