BERNARDS TWP., NJ - The proposed 2017 budget introduced last week by the Bernards Township Committee - two weeks later than expected due to a March snowstorm - will be up for a public hearing and possible adoption at the May 9 Township Committee.

The public hearing date was pushed back from the originally set date of April 11 following the cancellation of the March 14 Township Committee meeting, said Township Chief Financial Officer Terri Johnson. The Township Committee's April 25 meeting, the usual second meeting of the month, is also canceled, according to the township clerk's office.

If adopted as proposed, the total $38,096,176.64 municipal budget for 2017 would add another $24.39 onto the average township home, which this year is assessed at $627,418.

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The proposed 2017 municipal budget is already posted on the township website.

This year's budget again includes no debt for municipal costs, a spending decision in place since the last municipal bonds were paid off several years ago.

Johnson said the amount to be raised by taxation for all municipal Services(General Municipal Services, Library & Open Space) is up 1.55 percent. She said that increase is primarily due to what township officials said is a needed increase to capital spending of $626,550.00 and the legally mandated increase of $113,000 in the pensions account.

Township officials have said that the township's infrastructure, including roads, are aging and in need of revitalization.

The public hearing for the township budget is now scheduled for 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 9,  in the main meeting room/courtroom at the town hall, 1 Collyer Lane in Basking Ridge.

Municipal taxes account for about 12.7 percent of a homeowner's total property tax bill, according to township figures. Most of the total property tax bill, an estimated 65.1 percent, pays for local schools, while an estimated 16.8 percent goes to pay for the township's assessment of its assessment for the Somerset County budget. 

Last month, Bernards Township school officials presented a proposed $101 million school budget to fund township schools for the next school year. That budget is scheduled to come up for a public hearing at the school board's scheduled March 8 meeting, and school officials said they will present more detailed figures on the tax impact at that time.