FAIR LAWN, NJ – The Borough Council will conduct a municipal budget hearing tomorrow night, March 24, during a virtual public meeting aired on local television and live streamed on the Internet.

While it seems like forever-ago, the council introduced the $54.2 million 2020 Municipal Budget on February 25, when the coronavirus was just something happening in China.

Now that COVID-19 is here, most other events in our immediate purview have seemed far less significant.

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Nonetheless, the business of life moves on and the Fair Lawn mayor and council are moving forward by holding their regularly scheduled public meeting tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.--virtually. While the physical site of these meetings is closed, residents are invited to log in via the borough's website where a live stream link will be provided, or they can tune-in to Channel 77 or Channel 37, depending on their cable provider. 

The proposed borough budget shows a 0% tax increase for the third year in a row.

Fair Lawn Borough Manager Jim Van Kruiningen previously said the municipal tax increase is 0% this year because it was offset by using additional surplus and reserves.

The borough's average assessed home is $332,371. The municipal tax rate on $100 of assessed value is $0.896, according to Van Kruiningen.

The anticipated amount of taxes to be raised in support of the budget is $38,112,865.

Spending has increased more than $3 million over 2019’s budget which totaled $51,203,171. Total anticipated expenditures for 2020 are $54,230,742.

The largest expenditure item listed in the budget is salaries and wages, $21.6 million, up $910,965 over 2019. There continues to be 164 full-time employees who work for the borough, same as 2019.

Along with the municipal budget is the 2020 Dedicated Water Utility Budget. Anticipated revenues are up from 2019’s $7,660,000, which includes $1.5 million in surplus, to 2020’s anticipated revenue of $7,939,810, of which $1,668,000 is surplus. Surplus in the water utility budget has increased $279,810 from 2019 to 2020.

Fair Lawn’s municipal debt in 2020 is $17.3 million. The water utility debt in 2020 is approximately $5 million.