As towns in New Jersey prepare their new budgets, at least one of them is proposing a cut in property taxes.
That’s not a misprint.
Mount Laurel’s $37 million spending plan is $300,000 more than last year, but township manager Maureen Mitchell said a property reassessment means the average tax bill will dip by $98.
“Some of it’s the reassessment, also the cuts, the changes, the mergers, the consolidation of offices that we’ve done,” she said. “We’ve been on a three-year plan of bringing everything in control and bringing services back in that we had outsourced to save money and then outsourcing services that don’t make sense to the township.”
With higher pension and benefit costs, this will be a difficult budget year any town to cut taxes, according to Bill Dressel with the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
“We are seeing that they are doing more with less, that they are economizing,” Dressel said. “And if they are having increases in taxes that are not as high as they would have been.”
Even in tough economic times, he said, at least two of the state’s 565 municipalities did so last year.