CARTERET – Carteret Mayor Daniel Reiman told residents that they shouldn’t see an increase in their municipal taxes this year during his annual state of the borough speech this week.
The 2010 budget proposal calls for a $2.5 million spending reduction and a stable tax rate, though it is pending both state aid numbers and the approval of the borough council.
“Families are struggling and government must do what we have all had to do at home, and that’s tighten one’s belt — cut not simply wasteful spending but all spending across the board,” Reiman said.
Reiman said the $36.8 million budget is six percent less than last year’s, and only three areas will show and increase – pensions, employee health insurance and salaries. The mayor criticized the “outdated” statutory formulas used to calculate them, noting that local taxpayers have seen a 300 percent increase in pension costs since 2000 and a 200 percent increase in health care costs over the past few years.
“It seems many in Trenton are finally beginning to realize what the rest of us have known for some time – the system is broken, and cannot simply be fixed – it must be scrapped in its entirety,” Reiman said.
Reiman said that continued economic growth has been the borough’s “saving grace” and noted that savings had been accomplished in part through a 12 percent reduction in the borough workforce.
Reiman, a Democrat up for re-election this November, pledged that his administration will continue efforts to revitalize the borough. The mayor said that work is continuing to redevelop the long-neglected Chrome section of the town and noted that workers recently finished improvements to New Jersey Turnpike Interchange 12 that are intended to relieve traffic congestion.
The mayor talked about companies like Graybar Electric and Verizon Wireless that have recently opened buildings in town. P.C. Richard will soon break ground on a new retail store.
“It’s at least once a week that I talk to a resident who mentions that they have a friend or family member visit who hadn’t been to Carteret in some time, and they are marveled at all that we have accomplished as a community,” Reiman said during the speech.
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