CHATHAM;, NJ - The Borough of Chatham Council gave a presentation on the 2017 Municipal Budget, which represented a point-85 percent tax increase, at its regular meeting Monday night.
According to information provided in the power-point presentation by Robert Falzarano, borough administrator, and Tim Day, chief financial officer, the council will introduce the budget on March 27 and adopt it on April 27. The amount to be raised by taxes is $7,857,326, which means residents will pay an increase of $33.87 on an home valued at $670,694.
Despite revenue that remains flat, the borough has managed to keep a lid on its tax increases by following a 10-year plan to make capital improvements and pay down its debt, according to Falzarano, who noted that Chatham Borough is one of 16 municipalities in New Jersey with a triple-A bond rating. Chatham has maintained that rating since 2011.
In relation to surrounding towns, Chatham Borough has the second-lowest percentage of its budget funded by tax revenue. Chatham Borough stands at 60 percent, which is lower than Long Hills (62 percent), Chatham Township (65), Summit (66), New Providence (67) and Berkeley Heights (72). Only Madison is lower at 48 percent.
The total budget is $14,581,378, an increase of 2.1 percent. Broken down to percentages, Chatham Borough's municipal budget represents 19.53 percent of the total, with the school tax taking up 63.07 percent. The library tax is 2.01 percent and the county tax is 15.39 percent.
The borough announced that it will pay $275,000 in a tax appeal settlement issue that dates back to 2009. In order to keep the payment from adversely affecting the budget, the majority of the money is coming out of surplus accounts.
"This is a big hit to us," Council president Jim Lonergan said. "We have to pay back taxes on this."