SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Borough Council adopted its 2018 Budget Monday evening with all four republicans voting yes, and the two democrats voting no. The $29,767,468 spending plan calls for a flat municipal tax rate for South Plainfield residents and businesses.
South Plainfield Council President Rob Bengivenga, announced the average assessed home will pay $1,665.95 in Municipal Taxes in 2018. This is $1.80 below last year and represents 23.0% of the total average property tax bill. Total property taxes in 2018 are expected to total $7,300.05.
According to CFO Glenn Cullen, the $29.8 million budget calls for $19,329,997 in taxes to fund Municipal and Library operations. “This is the second consecutive year municipal taxes have been flat,” said Cullen.
When voting no Councilman Jon Dean questioned whether too much surplus was being used in the 2018 Budget, and if there were only minimum debt payments.
“This Budget is another success story for South Plainfield taxpayers,” said Mayor Matt Anesh. “Each year we strive to adequately fund government operations, but always keep affordability and our residents foremost in our minds. Council President Bengivenga and Finance Committee members Derryck White and Joe Wolak were able to once again achieve the goal of smarter and more affordable government.”
Councilman Bengivenga read a list of highlights of the 2018 Budget which included, a flat municipal tax for the second straight year, increases in Police salaries and wages for two more school resource officers and nearly 40 roads to be repaved between the Borough and Middlesex Water Company.
The Budget included an additional $100,000.00 for debris cleanup from the severe late winter storms.
“There have been a number of challenges this year with the never-ending snow, debris cleanup and some State Pension changes,” said Council President Bengivenga. “Everyone rolled up their sleeves and once again delivered a solid and fair budget to South Plainfield’s residents.”
“The part of the tax bill that we can control, we have controlled for the past nine years,” said Mayor Anesh. “Municipal Taxes are still below 2009 levels when others controlled the budget, I am proud of the accomplishments that we have been able to achieve.”
According to Anesh, the work done by Councilman White and his Economic Development Committee has been critical to the Borough’s financial results. “The Borough’s ratable base has increased over $24,000,000 in the past two years and that is a direct reflection of Councilman White’s hard work and determination attracting new jobs and businesses to South Plainfield.”
“I really need to give credit to the Borough employees, department heads and volunteers,” said Councilman Wolak. This winter was like being hit by a Super Storm Sandy.” “We didn’t default to raising taxes, declaring financial emergencies or borrowing additional money. The Borough planned properly throughout the years, and this is why we are able to handle whatever Mother Nature throws at us.”