Taxes to increase $36 on average assessed home in North Brunswick

Staff Writer

NORTH BRUNSWICK — The recently adopted Fiscal Year 2016 budget reflects quality services, operating efficiency and preserving municipal infrastructure.

The $45.6 million budget carries a 2 percent increase on the calendar year tax rate, or an increase of about $36 per year on the average assessed home of $157,489, according to township Business Administrator Robert Lombard.

The tax levy is $28.9 million, a $585,079, or 2 percent, increase from last year.

Last year’s increase was 2.3 cents, from a tax rate of $1.154 per $100 of assessed value to $1.177, and this year’s increase is 1.7 cents, from $1.177 to $1.195 per $100 of assessed value, Lombard said.

“This budget is a testament to the township’s sound fiscal practices,” Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack said after the budget’s adoption at the Sept. 8 council meeting. “North Brunswick is in good financial shape as our spending in the FY2016 budget reflects a net 1 percent increase and our ratable base has increased through recent commercial development along the Routes 1, 130 and 27 corridors.”

Womack said the opening of Costco, Target, Investors Bank and Raymour & Flanigan over the past year demonstrates the township’s ability to attract ratables, which will help in providing tax relief for residents.

He added that the ratable base for the township increased for the second consecutive year (2015 with a $4,900,205 million increase compared to 2014) (2015 with a $40,317,011 increase compared to 2013) for a 2015 total assessed value of $2,457,050,620, which will help stabilize municipal, county and school tax rates.

“Through promoting economic development while preserving ‘smart growth,’ we have set up a solid foundation for our residents to see real relief in their tax bills in the coming years,” he said.

The budget increases personnel with three police officers, one new sewer division worker and two administration staff.

The decline in annual debt service payments continues in the budget from a high of $8.2 million appropriated in FY2009 down to $5.7 million for FY2016 – or a 9 percent decrease from FY 2015.

Among the capital improvement projects in the budget is the Veterans Park renovation. The first phase of the project, which includes the construction of a baseball field, tennis courts and parking, is scheduled to be completed this spring, followed by the construction of a new clubhouse, playground equipment and landscaping.

Three million dollars in capital funding was also authorized in the FY2016 budget toward the road improvement program, in addition to funding toward a municipal generator, a new automated sanitation vehicle, a roll off truck and a vehicle storage structure at the Department of Public Works facility.

Standard and Poor’s maintained North Brunswick’s debt rating with a AA+ rating, with a positive outlook for the second year, highlighting good financial practices by the township.

The township continued to have a clean audit with no recommendations.

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