FANWOOD — The borough council on Monday evening introduced the 2023 municipal budget, which calls for a small increase in total appropriations and a small boost in the municipal portion of property taxes.
At a special meeting lasting less than 10 minutes, the governing body unveiled the budget and set a public hearing for Monday, June 26.
The $10.568 million in appropriations will be funded from a variety of sources, including about $7.225 million in property tax payments, reflecting a small increase in the municipal tax rate to 18.7 cents per $100 of assessed value from 18.1 cents last year. Other anticipated revenue sources include about $363,000 in PILOT payments from several large redevelopment projects on South Avenue and 2nd Street; $568,000 in borough surplus, and state aid of nearly $800,000, up from $755,000 last year.
Salaries and wages for the police department will total $1.929 million this year, while salaries and wages for public works will amount to $600,000. Among the insurance payments anticipated this year is $1.065 million for group health insurance for borough employees. Legal expenses are expected to amount to $125,000.
Chief Financial Officer Patricia Celardo noted several challenges in crafting this year’s budget, including higher state pension contributions and insurance payments as well as increased costs for public safety and curbside leaf collection and recycling services. Utility costs and higher fuel prices also are factors in the increase in overall appropriations.
Just under 19 percent of the total property-tax bill will be earmarked for borough expenses. The county portion will account for about 16.7 percent of the total levy, while the board of education’s budget accounts for about 63 percent. The library tax this year will total $485,178.