SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Borough Council on Monday evening adopted the 2014 municipal budget. The budget, which totals $27,785,949, calls for an overall reduction in taxes of $152,120.
According to Chief Financial Officer Glenn F. Cullen, “The average homeowner in 2014 will pay $1,585 in municipal taxes. That is $7.50 decrease from 2013."
Mayor Matthew P. Anesh said, “The Administration and Finance Committee, led by Councilman Rusnak and Council President Barletta, once again did an excellent job. They delivered a budget that reduced the total tax levy for the second year in a row.”
The budget was adopted along party lines. The lone dissenting vote was Democratic Councilman C.J. Diana. Mayoral candidate Chrissy Buteas disagreed with Anesh’s comments by saying, “The budget is full of one-time revenues, gimmicks, non-recurring revenues and it raided the town’s surplus.
When discussing the 2014 budget, Councilman Diana remarked he felt the surplus was “alarmingly low.” Ray Rusnak asked Diana if he knew how surplus was trending and did he ask Cullen. Diana stated, “No.”
Anesh said, “The surplus is being regenerated, and miscellaneous revenues were trending to be up by $500,000.” Previous administrations going all the way back to 2004 and 2005 used almost twice as much surplus in their budgets."
Diana disagreed with Anesh and said, “This budget is the most irresponsible budget that Mayor Anesh and the Republicans could have adopted,” Diana said. “They have misled the residents of South Plainfield by claiming that through sound financial practices, there will be no tax increase in 2014.”
Council President Barletta when leaving remarked “this is a great budget. I do not understand the Democrats. Once again they are voting against a budget that has a tax decrease for the hardworking taxpayers of South Plainfield. It makes no sense.”