April 7, 2009
For release at your earliest convenience
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Mendham Township To Introduce 2009 Budget; No Increase in Municipal Tax Rate
The Mendham Township Committee will introduce the Township’s 2009 municipal budget at its meeting on April 13. The proposed budget calls for no increase in the municipal tax rate.
Mayor Frank Cioppettini commented positively on the proposed budget stating, “The Township Committee is pleased to put forth a budget that addresses the needs of the community without an increase in the municipal tax rate. Maintaining a level tax rate this year was a difficult challenge, but the Township Committee and I felt it was a goal we needed to achieve to help our taxpayers in these trying times.”
The 2009 budget contains funding to support the continuation of all primary municipal services at a level residents have become accustomed to in prior years. The budget also includes a number of new initiatives aimed at enhancing services to residents. These initiatives include the overlay of three Township roads, an upgrade to the Township website, the acquisition of the Pitney property, and two critical drainage improvement projects.
The proposed budget balances the funding for these new and on-going initiatives while absorbing lost revenues and increased costs in several non-discretionary line items. The Township in 2009 forecasts lower revenues in a number of categories including fees and permits and State Aid. State Aid was reduced by $24,000 for 2009 and by over $100,000 over the past two years. Non-discretionary line items increasing in the 2009 budget include funding for pension contribution, snow removal services, utility services and insurance. Despite these increases the overall spending proposed in the 2009 budget will be $42,948 less than in the budget adopted in 2008.
“The Township Committee commends all of the Township Department Heads and Volunteer groups for their assistance in bringing in a budget without a tax increase” said Mayor Cioppettini. In addition to across the board reductions in all major department operating expenses, the Mayor further cited several other decisions needed to balance this year’s budget. “The Committee made the tough decision to defer the filling of a vacant patrolman position in the Police Department and a Sergeant’s promotion created by the appointment of the new Police Chief. We also utilized a reserve created several years ago by the Township Committee for pension contributions to offset the higher pension costs required by the State of New Jersey by municipalities in 2009.”
The 2009 budget totals $9,159,220. The municipal tax rate will continue at the current rate of $0.277 per $100 assessed value.
Under state law all municipal budgets must be approved by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Subject to this approval, the Committee has scheduled the date of May 11th for official public hearing on the 2009 budget.