SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – The South Plainfield Borough Council on March 6 introduced a 2017 budget that features modestly lower spending and taxes than the previous year’s plan. Additionally, borough officials state the municipal taxes in the proposed spending plan will be less than what residents paid in 2009.

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

At Monday’s meeting, CFO/Administrator Glenn Cullen announced that the proposed $28.5 million budget is down almost $87,000 from 2016 while taxes are $33,328 lower than a year ago.

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According to Anesh, the work done by Council President Derryck White and the economic development committee, of which he chairs, has been critical to the borough’s financial results.

“The borough’s ratable base has increased over $9 million in the past two years and that is a direct reflection of Council President White’s hard work and determination in attracting new jobs and businesses to South Plainfield,” said the mayor.

Councilman and Finance Committee Chair Robert Bengivenga noted that, in the proposed budget, the municipal tax rate is less than last year and less than 2009 and that debt service obligations and capital requirements are down.

“Last year we purchased a new engine for our fire department, we invested in the borough’s future; this year the budget does not have such a large capital equipment purchase. We are very pleased that the reliance of onetime items has ended,” Bengivenga said, adding. “This is at introduction, and I expect the tax rate to fall even further by the time we adopt the budget in May.”

Additionally, the mayor noted that salary and wages are up less than 1.5-percent in the 2017 budget while total expenses are $1.6 million below the state allowable expense CAP.

“We’re working hard to control costs,” said Anesh. “Like we saw when comparing our tax record to other towns last year, South Plainfield is one of the leaders in the county in controlling taxes and spending.  And we’re working hard to keep it that way.”

The proposed 2017 budget was approved by the South Plainfield Borough Council upon introduction at a March 6 meeting by a vote of 4-0; Councilmen Jon Dean and Gary Vesce abstained on grounds that they needed additional time to review the plan. Over the coming weeks, the budget will reviewed during public hearings with a final adopted expected in early May. 

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