Roselle Council introduces budget with zero-percent municipal tax increase

ROSELLE, NJ — At its June 17 meeting, the Roselle Borough Council voted 5-1 to approve the introduction of the 2020 municipal budget of $44,680,870, featuring a zero-percent tax increase for residents, according to a press release from the borough.

“The Finance Committee has worked incredibly hard this year to craft a budget that meets the needs of all Roselle residents. When the impact of the coronavirus pandemic became obvious, we knew that it was an absolute necessity to ensure our budget would not increase municipal taxes,” said 2nd Ward Councilman Brandon Bernier, Finance Committee chairperson. “It was no easy task, but we immediately dug in with our CFO, going line by line to find cost savings until we hit our goal of a zero-percent municipal tax increase.

“It’s worth noting that this isn’t just a one-time cut to help during a difficult year, but it’s been the trend of this council over the last few years. If you look at the last three years, the average municipal tax increase has been under $10 per year, compared to a three-year average of $150-plus per year back in 2015,” he continued. “We are committed to continuing to deliver Roselle residents the best services possible while keeping a close eye on taxes and remaining as fiscally responsible as we can. Making the right decisions today prepares Roselle for a path of success for years to come.”

The zero-percent increase means that residents will not see any tax increase from the municipality this year. The only increases will come from other entities, such as the county and Board of Education, which the Borough Council cannot control. Each of those entities creates its own budget, which ultimately leads to its portion of the final tax bill.

According to preliminary numbers provided by the borough, the complete tax bill will see a yearly increase for the average homeowner of $151.20. While the municipal portion won’t increase, the library portion is expected to increase by $8.40, the Board of Education portion by $40.60, the county portion by $98 and the county Open Space portion by $4.20. These numbers are based on introduced budgets and could change pending certification from the Union County Board of Taxation.

In Roselle’s introduced budget, $12,160,384, or 27.2 percent, will go to public safety; $8,190,000, or 18.3 percent, will go to insurance; $4,176,000, or 9.3 percent, will go to public works; $3,920,115, or 8.8 percent, will go to pensions; $2,958,318, or 6.6 percent, will go to the sewer; $2,500,000, or 5.6 percent, will go to the reserve for uncollected taxes; $2,442,600, or 5.5 percent, will go to debt service; $1,268,000, or 2.8 percent, will go to parks and recreation; $520,000, or 1.2 percent, will go to the library; and $6,545,453, or 14.7 percent, will go to other general government functions.

Copies of the introduced budget can be obtained by contacting the borough clerk’s office or on the borough’s website at www.boroughofroselle.com. The full budget hearing and final adoption are scheduled for the July 15 council meeting.

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