SAYREVILLE—The borough council approved an 8.6 percent tax hike last week to balance the $50.5 million municipal budget. The average Sayreville homeowner will pay $1,532 in municipal taxes.
“This is one of the leanest budgets we’ve had,” said Councilman Stanley Drwal, who is head of the council’s administrative and finance committee.
“Honestly, we tried to make every cut, but said we weren’t going to pass the buck to the next year. The decisions we made were to make sure infrastructure didn’t collapse. We tried to lay the ground work to make us financially secure in a few years.”
Spending increased $599,329 from last year, due to debt service increases of $300,000 and pension increases of $211,000, according to the city business administrator. The tax increase was necessary to avoid service cuts, he said.
Officials are projecting a loss of $2 million in municipal revenue.
Councilman David Kaiserman cast the only vote against the spending plan because the budget will place a large burden on residents in a tough economy. He wanted the borough to hire an independent consultant to review the numbers.
“Sometimes you need an extra pair of eyes because sometimes an outside person can see things a little bit differently,” said Kaiserman. “It’s to avoid any political gimmicks, any political special interest groups and anything that might be suspicious to the common citizen. If the independent consultant says we’ve truly hit rock bottom, people would be more accepting of the budget.”
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