FAIRFIELD, NJ — For the third consecutive year, the Fairfield Township Council has adopted a municipal budget without an increase in the tax rate, as the council adopted the 2019 municipal budget earlier this week with a decrease of $9 to the average Fairfield home currently assessed at $451,885.

“If you look at other towns, you will see that they have had increases,” said Mayor James Gasparini. “We have been able to hold the line because of the hard work of (administrator) Joe Catenaro and (township clerk) Denise Cafone.

“The governing body constantly watches the dollars, and that’s what makes the difference. Once again, you have to have the ratables to do that. We also have a commercial base, which helps us with the taxes. They handle quite a big burden.”

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The mayor also urged residents to be aware that despite the decrease in the municipal tax rate, the average homeowners in Fairfield will still see an approximately $307 tax increase overall due to a $250 tax increase from the West Essex school district, a $30 increase from Fairfield schools and a $36 increase from the county.

“We can only control our part of the budget,” said Gasparini.

According to Township Clerk Denise Cafone, the total municipal budget of $13,223,218.98 is a decrease of $60,601 from last year’s budget.

Cafone added that the open space, recreation, farmland and historical preservation trust fund levy is $260,810 with the minimum library levy being $1,042,613. Gaspaini noted that this year’s local rate is .507 compared to last year’s rate of .514.