CHATHAM, NJ - A budget described as "boring and dull" for its straight-laced numbers by council finance chairman Peter Hoffman, the Borough of Chatham Council unanimously introduced its 2018 Municipal Budget, which represented a minuscule .3-cent rise in the tax rate, on Monday night at its regular meeting.
The $14.5 million dollar budget, which is $67,000 lower than the 2017 appropriation, represents an increase in taxes of $22.74 for an average assessed home of $672,969.
The municipal budget will be up for adoption on April 23.
The increase is the tax rate is .72 percent vs. the 2 percent allowed, putting Chatham Borough 1.28 percent below the cap.
"We're very proud of the fact that the tax levy increase we are contemplating is well within, by a significant margin, the two percent cap," Hoffman said. "It's a budget that is fiscally balanced and supports our gold-gilded Triple-A credit rating. What does that mean? It gives us access to the debt markets at a very cost-efficient rate of interest. That's something we're very proud and want to maintain ... a very rare Triple-A credit rating."
Peter Hoffman, finance chair, gives an overview of the municipal budget introduced on Monday night
Among the other highlights of the budget pointed out by Hoffman is the fact that as a member of the NJ State Health Benefit Plans, there will be no increase in 2018 for health coverage of Chatham Borough employees.
Also, when compared to surrounding towns Madison, Chatham Township, Long Hill, Summit, New Providence, Florham Park and Berkeley Heights, Chatham Borough ranks as the second lowest in the percent of its budget funded by tax revenues. Only Madison's 46 percent is lower than Chatham Borough's 60 percent among that group. Chatham Township stands at 62 percent.