South Plainfield–The Borough Council introduced a $30,965,809 spending plan last night that calls for a municipal tax increase of $59.75 for the average South Plainfield home owner in 2019.

According to CFO/Administrator Glenn Cullen, the $30.9 million budget calls for $20,204,395 in taxes to fund Municipal and Library operations.

“This is just the Budget introduction, but I am pleased that taxes were kept in check,” said Mayor Matt Anesh. “This is the first time in three years there has been a municipal tax increase and the Borough has committed itself to invest more funds in public safety, debt principal and the Community Pool.” 

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“As I said last year, I’m the Borough’s toughest critic on the budget,” said Administration and Finance Chairman Robert Bengivenga. “Each year we strive to be the best in operations, but also recognize the need to be affordable to our residents. In 10 years the municipal tax levy is up less than 3/10ths of 1%.”

If the Budget is adopted in its current form, the average assessed home in South Plainfield will pay $1,739.70 in Municipal Taxes. This is up $59.75 from last year.

 “The part of the tax bill that we can control, we have controlled for the past ten years,” said Anesh.”

According to Anesh, the work done by Councilman Derryck White’s Economic Development Committee has been critical to the Borough’s financial results. “The Borough’s ratable base has increased $32,000,000 in the past two years and that is a direct reflection of Councilman White’s hard work and determination I attracting new jobs and businesses to South Plainfield.”

“This is just the introduction,” said Council President Joseph Wolak. “A lot of hard work goes into crafting the budget and we look forward to working with our department heads to fine tune the budget over the coming weeks.”

The Budget calls for increased spending in Public Safety, Debt Service Health Insurance and the Pool.

One of the items that were stressed by both CFO Cullen and Councilman Bengivenga is the stability of the Borough’s financial operations. “There are no crazy peaks or valleys in the operations or taxes,” said Cullen. “This I believe is why S&P singled out our strong financial performance last year.”

“We are very pleased that the reliance of onetime items has ended,” said Bengivenga.

The 2019 Budget is $1,518,276 below the State Allowable Levy CAP.

“Each year we operate on just what the Borough needs,” said Anesh. “This year is no different from the last nine.”