HACKENSACK, N.J. — The City held a public hearing last night on its 2019 Municipal Budget, which will see a 0 percent tax levy increase. Due to a slight delay in approval from the state, the budget will not be able to be voted on until the next Council meeting in two weeks.
“What we all wanted to do most when the residents of Hackensack elected us to office was to stabilize tax rates and that goal has been reached,” Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse said. “What we’re planning to do now is maintain our tax levy at zero over the next five years."
The total budget is $106,763,378.18, which is an increase of $1.5 million over last year. It represents a tax decrease of $186,516. The City’s projected tax rate is going down (from 1.629 to 1.585) for the fourth year in a row. The average taxpayer’s total tax bill is expected to be $8,223.87, which is a $150.69 decrease from last year. Of that $150.69 decrease, $120.08 is because of the 2019 municipal budget.
The reason for the tax decrease is due to a concentrated effort to decrease the tax levy to compensate for the new Open Space Levy.
“Having a 0 percent tax levy is a wonderful accomplishment,” said Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino, who also serves on the Finance Committee with Councilman Leo Battaglia. “Also, keeping our expenditures to $1.5 million on a $106 million budget takes great effort and shows participation by all of the city’s departments and everyone doing their best to keep expenditures to a minimum and make smart decisions.”
Chief Financial Officer James Mangin reiterated the City’s five-year plan to keep the tax levy at 0 percent over the next five years.
“That’s our goal,” Mangin said. “That’s ambitious but it is obtainable."
The budget is expected to be voted on and adopted at the next council meeting on Tuesday, May 7.
The budget presentation from the March 26 meeting, as well as the budget document, can be viewed on the City website.