EAST ORANGE, NJ - The East Orange City Council approved the city’s budget during its regular meeting held on Monday, June 6, 2015. The budget includes a 1.46% tax levy increase that Mayor Lester E. Taylor III and city council members agree will aid in the putting the city on a path to fiscal stability.

“Without a doubt, this 2016 budget demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that our government continues to work as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Mayor Taylor. “Over the past two years, we have worked hard to balance our budget with reduced spending and increased investment in our community.”

“I am proud that we were able to work together to adopt a budget within a timeframe that allows us to make a seamless transition from one budget cycle to another,” Taylor added. “I want to thank the members of the East Orange City Council for their due diligence in representing the best interests of our residents.”

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The 1.46% tax levy increase, which is well within the state's cap, is the lowest since Mayor Taylor took office in 2014. For the first time in recent history, the East Orange Water Commission will not be financially supported by the City’s budget, saving $1 million for the city and helping further stabilize fiscal footing.

“By aggressively addressing the issues of our water commission, we are now able to move forward on stalled development projects, which will help increase the share of property taxes paid by businesses and commercial properties.”

Council Chairman Ted Green agrees this year’s budget brings the city one step closer to achieving its goal.

“In order for our city to move forward, the city council and mayor must work together to achieve positive results,” said Green. “Our council is committed to fulfilling the administration’s vision that East Orange set the standard for urban excellence and become a destination city.”

Economic revitalization is at the forefront of the city’s efforts and Taylor said that East Orange is on a trajectory to rebuild its tax base through a number of redevelopment projects.

“In one year's time, we've doubled private capital investment to over $250 million in upcoming projects that represent the construction of commercial and residential properties in every ward of the city,” said Taylor. “We've invested in our own assets, like the East Orange Golf Course and the East Orange Water Commission, ensuring that those valuable resources are making money instead of losing it.”

A copy of the budget can be viewed on the city’s website at www.eastorange-nj.gov.