EDISON, NJ – For the second year in a row, Edison residents will face a municipal tax increase proposed by Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey and approved by the Township Council for the 2015 municipal budget that will raise property taxes almost 3 percent.
When Lankey ran for mayor in 2013, he boasted on his campaign website, Tom Lankey For Edison Mayor, “As chairman of Edison’s Finance Committee – I worked very hard with my fellow council members to deliver “ZERO” municipal tax increases for four consecutive years.”
He further pointed to Mayor Ricigliano’s Administration attempt to raise Edison taxes by about 10 percent. Now Edison residents under Lankey face a nearly 12 percent tax increase in two years. Edison residents received a 9 percent tax increase for 2014.
According to the 2015 township budget, Edison will use $10 million in surplus funds toward its 2015 spending plan. That's up from the $6.45 million used in 2014, and it will leave Edison with just under $2 million in surplus.
The council adopted the new budget at its July 22 public meeting by a 4-3 vote with members Alvaro Gomez, Robert Karabinchak, Michael R. Lombardi and Sapana Shah voting to support it. Council President Robert Diehl and Councilmen Wayne Mascola and Dr. Sudhanshu Prasad cast the dissenting votes.
The amount to be raised by taxes is now $87.2 million, up almost $2.5 million from 2014. But, the Council lowered the tax impact by $589,900 from the amount that Mayor Lankey originally recommended.
This affects the owner of the average Edison home, valued at $177,300, will pay $2,068 to support municipal services, up $47.45 from last year. Initially, the average homeowner's bill would have risen by $61.
Edison's total budget now stands at $126,808,257 – up by $5.22 million from 2014 when it stood at $121,583,665.
At the July 22 public meeting, the Township Council also voted 4-3 to reject a separate $11.6 million solid waste budget, which pays for residential garbage collections in South Edison neighborhoods and a few sections of North Edison.
The 2015 solid waste collection budget rose $425,251 from last year and called for $9.27 million to be raised by taxes, up from $8.8 million last year. Council President Diehl and council members Mascola, Prasad and Shah voted against it, while Councilmen Gomez, Karabinchak and Lombardi voted in support.
The Township Council is to reconsider the 2015 solid waste collection budget during its next work session on Monday, August 17 and at its public meeting on Wednesday, August 19.
Property owners will also pay $122 toward Edison's public libraries, up a modest $4 from last year. The town collects $4.8 million in public library taxes to support the autonomous Library Board of Trustees, which sets its own budget.
Edison Township's adopted 2015 Budget
Edison Township's separate Solid Waste Budget