NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Each week leading to the November 6 election, the candidates running for New Providence Borough Council have the opportunity to answer question(s) that will be run in a series by TAPinto New Providence.
The following answer is from Democratic Candidate for Borough Council John Keane for Week 2.
Week 2 Question: Residents are concerned about rising taxes in New Providence. The tax bill is made up of numbers from the County, School and Borough. The Borough's portion of the tax bill is the smallest. Many costs are out of the council's control with the rising cost of services and employee benefits. However, tax payers want to know how you will control the budget while maintaining and improving infrastructure issues and services and preparing for the future. Please explain your plan.
You are correct. The largest portion of our tax bill is the Board of Ed which is roughly 56%. The County is roughly 22%. The balance is the Borough’s. Parenthetically, there is about 1.5% for green space. These are all approximates.
One reason taxes are going on individuals is the improvement to houses in the Borough. One way to mitigate this is to have more shared services with our surrounding towns like the dispatcher example with Summit. In addition, we need to partner with the County to find joint projects to mitigate costs.
All of this will require a thorough review of the budget.
I was in the Banking business for 43 years. I ran a Corporate Finance for JPMorgan Chase. I joined Citibank and started a business from scratch in NJ and grew it to $750MM in loan commitments in 18 months. I ran a business for all five Boroughs in NYC (Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island) working with companies with revenues of $500M to $1B. I also ran the Not-For-Profit in the same region. I know how a budget works and how to question expenses. I have an MBA in Finance from NYU. I have the experience to look at the variable expenses (roughly 20% of our tax bill).