Mayor’s Update, April 2017
At the March 9 meeting the East Amwell Township committee unanimously introduced the proposed 2017 budget in the amount of $2,784,000. The municipal property tax rate will increase from 19.5 cents per $100 of assessed value to 21.4 cents, an increase of 1.89 cents. The 2017 township budget reflects a $74 annual/$7 monthly increase on the municipal property tax bill for a house assessed at the township average of $383,700.
The 2017 budget contains $100,000 for road repair, maintenance and safety. This concern has been raised by residents over the past several years, but the Township Committee has struggled to find the necessary funds in each year’s annual budget for road improvement. A majority of the Township Committee has concluded that our roads will continue to deteriorate unless major road repair projects are undertaken and supports an $80,000 increase in Capital Improvement over the 2016 budget. This will enable us to begin a 7 to 8 year project to repair township road with a chip and seal process that will last significantly longer than the patch work and pot hole filling that we have been conducting for the past few years. We estimate that over the next 7 to 8 years all the Township roads will require this level of maintenance along with resurfacing, crack filling, patching and other road repairs.
The budget also reflects a decrease of revenue of approximately $21,500 due to the anticipated loss of Franklin Township shared court expenses. This revenue loss may be reversed provided Franklin Township decides to stay with our shared court or if we can find another municipality willing to share the municipal court system through a shared service agreement.
The municipal property tax makes up about 10 percent of a property owner’s overall tax bill. The East Amwell Township School accounts for approximately 45 percent, the Hunterdon County Regional High School approximately 26 percent and the Hunterdon County tax 19 percent. East Amwell Township continues to have one of the lowest municipal tax rates of all the 26 municipalities in Hunterdon County.
The 2017 municipal budget has been advertised in the Public Notices section of the March 16 Hunterdon County Democrat. A public hearing on the budget and tax resolution will be held at the Municipal Building during the Township Committee’s April 13 meeting. Copies of the budget are available at the Municipal Building for the public or other interested parties; it is also on the website at www.eastamwelltownship.com.
Charles Van Horn
Mayor, East Amwell Township