By WIL FULTON
It was a tale of two tax plans in Red Bank Wednesday night as the mayor and council advanced the 2013 budgets for both the municipality and RiverCenter on a relatively light agenda.
The borough budget proposed at $21.2 million and containing a 7.7-percent tax increase, to 52.9 cents per $100 of valuation was originally scheduled for an adoption vote at the session. An adoption vote is now anticipated at the May 8 meeting, said borough CFO Coleen Lapp.
Meantime, the spending plan, which would have the owner of a home assessed at the borough average $396,000 paying $2,054, is subject to possible changes, she said.
The spending plan for downtown promotion agency RiverCenter remained unchanged, as it has for at least five years, at $512,000, a feat that council members were quick to praise.
We all offer our congrats on keeping your budget flat, Councilman Ed Zipprich told Rivercenter operations director Jim Scavone, who was in attendance. I think RiverCenter has done a really great job over the last several years at making sure theres no increase to the budget, and that you continue to offer more and more events without spending money.
Councilman Michael DuPont also cited RiverCenter for its role in the reducing the commercial vacancy rate in the business district.
Over the course of time, our vacancy rate had exceeded double digits, DuPont said. But through your leadership, weve now got it below five percent.
DuPont attributed the reduction in part to the council helping to streamline business applications and promote overall efficiency with businesses in the borough.