HACKENSACK, NJ – Under the city's newly adopted 2019 municipal budget, the average tax bills will decrease.

During its May 21 meeting, officials signed off on the $106 million budget, which includes a 0% tax levy increase and marks a decline in the tax rate for the fourth year in a row.

“A lot of hard work went into this budget that I truly believe was worth it,” Hackensack Mayor John Labrosse said. “Stabilizing tax rates was a main goal of ours when we took office and our next goal is to maintain the tax levy at zero over the next five years.”

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The budget plans to raise $85 million through taxation, which is a $186,194 decrease from last year, and will be offset by the city's new Open Space Tax that was authorized by voters last November. 

Altogether, the projected tax rate has gone down from 1.629 to 1.585, which translates into a reduction for the average taxpayer. In 2019, the average total tax bill is expected to be around $8,223, which is $150 less than last year. Of that decrease, $120 is due to the city's municipal budget.

The projected average tax bill also includes decreases of $36 on school taxes, $5.35 on county taxes, .23 on county open space taxes and increases of .19 cents on library taxes and $11.15 on the city's open space tax. 

The Johnson Library tax is also up by 3.2%, or $60,12 for a total of $2.75 million, but offiials have reduced the city tax enough to cover the increase. Altogether the library budget was cut by $39,878 to help cover the expense.

Spending is up by $1.5 million in 2019 under the new budget. Some key areas of spending include:

  • $42.5 million in salaries and wages (1.97% increase)
  • $2.2 million in departmental expenses (6.5% increase)
  • $20 million in health benefits and insurance (2.7% increase)
  • $11 million in pensions  

“I believe we will be able to do what is necessary to achieve five years of zero percent tax levy,” said Deputy Mayor Kathleen Canestrino, who serves on the Finance Committee with Councilman Leo Battaglia. “Kudos to our Financial Officer Jim Mangin, as well as the different department heads who worked with him to achieve this.” 

The city's budget can be viewed online here.