Mahwah August 5, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES IV • Page 7 County board sets township’s 2009 tax rate by Frank J. McMahon The Bergen County Board of Taxation has set the 2009 total tax rate for Mahwah at $2.063, which represents a 4.4 percent increase over last year’s aggregate rate. The overall increase is the result of hikes in individual components, including 2.5 cents for Bergen County, 4.1 cents for the local school district, two cents for municipal purposes, and a tenth of a cent in the Bergen County Open Space tax rate. The Municipal Open Space Tax remains unchanged. The owner of a home assessed at the township’s average of $358,417 will now pay $7,394, an increase of $26 a month. The property tax obligation is determined by multiplying the assessed value of a property in hundreds of dollars by the township’s total tax rate. For instance, the owner of a residential property with an assessed value of $750,000 will have to pay $15,473 a year in property taxes. When the Mahwah Township Council adopted its 2009 municipal budget in April it included 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 Policemen’s Benevolent Association. The township’s budget totals $34,495,634, an increase of $140,531 over the township’s 2008 final budget and the tax levy that is required to fund that budget is $19,560,249, an increase of $968,242. According to Mahwah Township Administrator Brian Campion, there was a $232,000 or four percent reduction in state aid in this year’s budget, 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 donation from the library this year of $200,000. Construction code revenue increased about $7,000 to $700,000, Campion said, and the hotel tax revenue remained at $675,000 this year. The final budget reflects the same $4,750,000 in township surplus as this year, and a reduction of $939,725 in total miscellaneous revenues. Operating expenses for salaries and wages were increased by $499,140, but other expenses were reduced by $1,602,700, while the amount budgeted for capital improvements decreased by $10,000. The amount budgeted for debt service decreased by $15 to $3,361,790 and the reserve for uncollected taxes decreased by $565,728. When the budget was introduced in January, Mayor Richard Martel pointed out that the municipal portion of the township’s tax rate is less than 25 percent of the township’s total tax. He described that as “a bargain” considering everything that is accomplished with the municipal portion of the tax rate, such as the maintenance of roads, the collection of garbage, police protection, and salaries and benefits for township employees. Martel emphasized that the township is “in a very good position compared to other municipalities.” The tax bills reflecting the township’s new rate are expected to be in the mail by the first week in August. The Aug. 1 deadline for paying property taxes in the township has been extended, according to Tax Collector Liz Villano, who advised that taxpayers will be informed of the extension when they receive their tax bills. Exhibit features Pompa’s artwork Mahwah resident Michael A. Pompa’s artwork will be featured at the township’s public library during the month of August. Pompa, a retired contractor, studied art at the Brooklyn Academy of Art in New York. His appreciation for the beauty of life, respect for the human qualities of life and his keen sense of humor are evident in his renderings. After suffering with detachments of the retina in both eyes in 2003, Pompa is now legally blind. Employing a variety of vision-enhancing tools and preferring oil paint as his medium, he has changed his style of painting and feeling for the subject matter he envisions and paints. During the summer, the library’s display cases will also be showcasing the children’s and teen’s summer reading programs. The library is located at 100 Ridge Road. Call (201) 529READ for additional information. The Best Stinger is a Dead Stinger! 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