Warren Township to ask for less in taxes this year

WARREN TWP. – Residents would pay less in taxes to the township this year than they did last year, according to the 2020 municipal budget introduced Thursday night.

The Township Committee voted unanimously to introduce the roughly $20,212,570 budget in a Zoom videoconference meeting, in which committee members emphasized the decrease in the municipal portion of the tax rate.

The municipal tax rate is to decrease from 30.6 cents per $100 in 2019 to 30.4 cents per $100 this year. The average homeowner, with an assessed home value of $743,808, would pay about $15 less in local purpose taxes.

Township Administrator Mark Krane noted the township could have raised some $890,000 more in taxes from residents this year, but instead sought to lessen the burden on taxpayers.

The township would raise about $13,809,334 in taxes this year, a decrease of roughly $314,320 from last year.

Township Committee members noted municipal taxes only account for roughly 20 percent of a resident’s total tax bill when accounting for county and school taxes.

“This is no easy feat,” said Committeewoman Jolanta Maziarz. “It’s no easy task.”

Marion said the tax cut can be credited, in part, to the township’s efforts to take the long view when making budgeting decisions each year. Committeeman Gary DiNardo noted the township employs zero-based budgeting, asking department heads to start from scratch when making budget requests each year.

“I think because of that we’ve always been able to maintain a very low number even though the cost of living and everything else has escalated,” he said.

Krane thanked the township’s department heads and boards and commissions for their efforts to prepare their annual budgets late last year, as well as the Township Committee for its guidance. He also thanked Administrative Assistant Evamarie Hode for her work on the budget.

The committee will hold a public hearing on the 2020 municipal budget at its next meeting on Thursday, May 14, followed by a vote to adopt the budget.