LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Township Council on March 26 introduced a $44,239,052 budget for this year which will result in an extra $43.20 per year in property taxes for Livingston residents.

This year’s proposed budget is an increase of $2,395,059 from last year’s budget of $41,843,993.  The amount to be raised by taxes for both municipal purposes and the town’s library is up .17 per cent or $51,159 to $29,771,636.

Non-tax revenues for this year are estimated at $14,467,416, an increase of $2,643,900 from last year’s total of $11,823,516.

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Township Administrator Michelle Meade presented the budget at the March 26 Township Council meeting. “There are no service cuts or reductions” in the 2012 municipal budget, Meade said, adding, “Our quality services are being provided at an affordable price. This year’s funding proposal not only preserves all services, it does so by increasing the local tax levy by less than 0.2 per cent.”

Meade said that Livingston’s property taxes are the nineteenth lowest out of all 22 Essex County municipalities, adding that the ranking was something town officials are “very proud of.”

Meade also explained the impact of property tax appeals which, she said, “have reduced total assessments by $314.8 million or 4.1 per cent since the revaluation was implemented in 2009.”

“The 2012 budget includes $1.1 million to pay tax appeal refunds,” Meade said, adding that “in recent years the township has borrowed over $8 million to pay tax appeal refunds, and the 2012 budget includes $792,486 of debt service for tax appeal notes issued during 2011.”

The tax appeals will also result in the average Livingston homeowner with a house assessed at $601,887 having to pay an extra $4.64 in 2012 towards the township’s operating costs and the tax rate will increase by 1.6 per cent due to the lower assessments, Meade said.

A full breakdown of this year’s proposed municipal budget is on the township’s website and includes some narrative of selected points.

A public hearing on the budget will be held on May 7 at 8 p.m. in the Livingston Municipal Building.

In other business, township officials welcomed two new police officers, Angelo Vella and David Cordero and swore in six new auxiliary police officers. The auxiliary officers, all Livingston residents and all volunteers, include Denis Demuro, Jeremy Freedman, Roy Hui, Kevin Mullaney, Michael Sosa and David Zalayet.