RED BANK: NO TAX INCREASE

dupontCouncilman Mike DuPont credited borough employees for financial sacrifices that helped keep taxes level with last year. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

taxesRed Bank property owners won’t be getting a 3.1-percent local property tax for 2015, as previously expected.

In fact, there will be no increase at all under a municipal budget adopted by the borough council Wednesday night.

After whittling away at an anticipated $93.28 annual increase for the owner of a home assessed at the borough average $364,405, “we’re now coming up with a flat budget and no tax increase,” Councilman Mike DuPont said in public remarks at the council’s semimonthly meeting. “It’s the first time in history that I’m aware of.”

DuPont, who heads the borough finance committee, said the accomplishment came in spite of a $110 million, or five percent, decline in overall property values in town, resulting in a drop in revenue of about $500,000; and another decrease in state aid. It was also achieved, he said, in part by drawing down a surplus he said the town had begun setting aside three years ago.

He credited borough employees, who accepted two-percent contractual increases, which he described as “minimal at best,” while nearly doubling the amount of healthcare costs they pick up, from $210,000 to $410,000.

All five council members present voted in favor of the budget; Councilwoman Kathy Horgan was absent.

Here’s the full 170-page spending plan: rb budget 2015