ROSELLE, NJ — At its regular meeting on Wednesday, April 21, the Roselle Borough Council approved its 2021 municipal budget of $49.9 million, featuring a zero-percent tax increase for the second year in a row.
The total budget is $49,909,088.82, which includes a $5.5 million grant from the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act for library construction. The only tax increase to residents may come from other entities, such as Union County and the Board of Education, which the Borough Council cannot control. This is the third year the borough has had the same flat municipal tax rate.
This also marks the earliest the borough has adopted its budget in the last decade, since switching to a calendar fiscal year, and the largest debt pay-down the borough has ever made, according to Finance Chairperson Councilman Brandon Bernier.
“We are proud to be able to once again adopt a municipal budget that delivers residents the services they need, invests in the borough for the long term and, most importantly, keeps municipal taxes flat for the second year in a row,” said Bernier. “Our goal has been to build a strong financial foundation that supports our community without overburdening our residents, and we’re glad to be able to deliver on that.”
There has been a notable increase in the value of ratables in the borough, increasing the total assessed value and broadening the overall tax base. Additionally, borough officials made a significant health insurance switch into the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program, which is projected to save roughly $2 million this year, Bernier added.
“We wanted to strike the balance of continuing to repair from the past, to stabilize the present and to prepare for the future. I think that is exactly what we have achieved with this budget,” said Chief Financial Officer Anders Hasseler.
There were challenges to overcome. The pandemic caused an increase in sanitation costs, while affecting revenues from the municipal court and code enforcement, because of a decrease in fees collected.
“Thank you to our dedicated Finance Committee and borough CFO for once again ensuring that the borough remains as fiscally responsible as possible with this responsible spending plan,” said Mayor Donald Shaw. “With many residents still struggling because of the pandemic, it was vital to this administration that the municipal tax not increase.”
The 2021 municipal budget can be viewed at www.boroughofroselle.com.