Page 4 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • April 8, 2009 Mahwah Council introduces $34 million budget for 2009 by Frank J. McMahon The Mahwah Council has introduced a $34,495,634 budget for 2009. This spending plan will increase the municipal portion of the township’s property tax on a home assessed at $358,417, the township’s average, by $75 per year. The tax levy required to fund the new budget is $19,560,249, an increase of $1,055,242 over last year. Township Administrator Brian Campion advised that the major items impacting the budget this year are the $232,000 reduction in state aid, a $445,000 reduction on interest on investments and deposits, an increase in contracted payroll costs of $503,000, and a $136,000 increase in the township’s payment toward pension plans. The township’s state mandated contribution to the library also increased by $108,546 to $2,349,532 although the budget anticipates a $200,000 donation from the library. Construction code revenues increased about $7,000 to $700,000, and the hotel tax revenue remained at $675,000 this year. According to Campion, this budget involves no reductions in staff, although six positions that are open as the result of retirements or resignations will not be filled. The budget also provides for 3.5 percent salary increases for white and blue collar employees as called for in their contracts, and a four percent increase in police salaries as required by the township’s contract with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. Mayor Richard Martel described the budget as a difficult one, but one that meets the restrictions imposed by the state and the mandated costs such as pension plan contributions, medical benefit costs, and salaries while continuing to provide all the municipal services. He called that “quite a feat.” “When you consider that, of your tax dollar, 25 cents of it represents the municipal portion of that tax dollar and, considering everything that is accomplished with that 25 cents, such as the maintenance of roads, the collection of garbage, police protection, and salaries and benefits and all Helpful Hints Helpful Hints from ome “Trouble putting a lid on a plastic container? Run hot water on the lid for 30 seconds; it will close easily.” 27 Franklin Tpk, Waldwick Open Sundays 9-3 201-652-5666 of that, I think 25 cents is a bargain.” He added, however, “If I could, and I’m sure the administrator and the township council would agree, if there was any way possible to maintain all the services that we provide and still have no tax increase every year, we would do it. There’s no question about that. Nobody hates to see a tax increase more than I do. We managed to do it for 12 years, but it is just not possible any more. However, Mahwah is in a very good position compared to other municipalities.” If the township budget is adopted in its present form, the tax rate is expected to rise to 47.2 cents. The school district tax rate will rise to $1.254 if that budget remains as is and is approved by the voters on April 21, and the Bergen County tax rate will rise to 31.4 cents based on current projections, while the municipal open space tax rate will remain at one cent. The township’s total tax rate could rise by 7.4 cents when the township’s 2.1 cent property tax rate increase is added to the anticipated 4.3 cent local school tax increase, and a projected one cent increase in the Bergen County tax rate. That 7.4 cent increase in the township’s total property tax rate would result in a property tax increase of $265 per year on a home with the average assessed value. Pat Says... Team effort The members of Mahwah’s Ramapo Ridge Middle School’s Girl Scout Troop 1378 received their Bronze Awards and are now cadettes. They designed a quilt to show how accomplishments can be acheived by combining individual skills with a team effort. ����������������������� �������������� ������������������������������������������ ��������������������������� ������������������ ������������������� ��������� ������������� ����� � �������������������� ������������������ �������������� ���������������������� ���� ����������� ������������������������ ���������������� �� �� �� �������������� ����������������� � � ���� ��������������������������� � ������������������������ ����� ����������������������� � ������������ ������� ������ �������������� ����� ���������������������� �������������� ���������������������������������������� ������������������������� ��������������������������� ������������������� ����� ������ ������������� ��������������