Throughout my service as a town councilman, I have always worked to best manage our tax dollars while maintaining essential services to protect your property values.
The average property tax bill in Westfield is $16,892. The Westfield portion of your tax bill is less than 16 percent, or roughly $2,695 for the average resident. The Westfield portion funds our police, fire, public works, leaf collection, snow removal, road repairs and all other municipal services in town. The bulk of your property tax bill, approximately 84 percent, is completely out of the control of our town council.
It may be surprising to know that Union County takes much more of your property taxes ($41.2 million dollars total in 2017) than Westfield collects ($27.6 million) to run our entire town. In fact, Westfield is the highest taxed town by Union County.
Even more troubling for Westfield taxpayers, unfunded mandates from Trenton continue to increase with no end in sight. Despite our resistance, the state has ordered Westfield to undertake a property tax revaluation with a state-selected assessor with even this expense charged to Westfield taxpayers.
Despite these difficult circumstances, we work to limit the Westfield portion of your property tax bill. Under the leadership of Mayor Andy Skibitsky, salaries and wages (the biggest budget item we control) are below 2008 levels without layoffs or reducing services. Our mayor and town council receive no salary or benefits, the largest municipality in New Jersey with an unpaid governing body. Our fiscal discipline has helped us maintain a AAA credit rating, a rating achieved by only three percent of municipalities in New Jersey. We have and always will seek opportunities for grants to have some of our tax dollars return to Westfield.
In my next term, I will continue to lobby Trenton and Union County to get back more funds for all the taxes we send them. Please contact me with your thoughts on any issue I can work on at email@example.com.
Westfield Councilman, Fourth Ward