Council to Vote on 2012 Budget Calling For an Average Tax Increase of $56

May 17, 2012

By John Burton

RED BANK – When the Borough Council votes to adopt the 2012 municipal budget on Wednesday, May 23, the tax increase property owners will have to shoulder will be a little less than first projected.

About one penny less.

Borough Councilman Michael DuPont, who chairs the council’s Finance Com­mittee, said during last week’s council meeting, due to some additional budget trimming, the proposed budget would have a 1.4 cent increase, as opposed to the initial 2.3 cent hike first offered when the governing body first introduced the budget on March 21.

Department heads were asked to comb through their respective budgets for whatever savings could be found, DuPont said.

The $20.7 million municipal budget has been trimmed by about $209,000, said Colleen Lapp, the borough’s chief financial officer.

The total to be raised for municipal taxes in this budget stands at $11. 2 million, she said.

The largest savings were located through an internal audit of the borough’s health care insurance plan, finding some participants were being overcharged and improperly categorized, Lapp said.

Officials will continue to review the health care insurance options, hoping to find a less expensive way to
provide coverage.

When the budget was first introduced, officials said they were looking at a 22 percent increase in premiums.

With the increase the municipal tax rate would go to .523 cents per $100 of assessed value, according to Lapp.

If adopted, the budget would translate to an increase of $56.50 for the average borough home assessed at $401,000, DuPont said.

DuPont said he was pleased with the budget, noting, “1.4 cent in this economy, I think that’s pretty good.”

The council is scheduled to vote on its final budget on May 23.

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