ELIZABETH – The City Council is scheduled to vote on a $209 million budget proposal on Nov. 9 — nearly four months after the fiscal year began and a week after Election Day.
The budget plan introduced last month calls for a tax increase of about 5.2 percent. That could mean a tax hike of hundreds of dollars for most property owners.
Carlos Cedeño was the only council member to vote against the budget when it was introduced.
City officials blamed the loss of $5 million in state aid for the increase in taxes.
A homeowner with property assessed at the city median $33,000 would pay $4,277 in municipal taxes, up approximately $262 from last year. When school and county taxes are factored in the total tax bill could exceed $7,000.
Fifth Ward Councilman Bill Gallman defended the city’s spending.
“We raise taxes because people have to get paid,” said Gallman.
Gallman acknowledged that he supported a tax increase every year since he was first elected eight years ago.
Union County had the ninth-highest property taxes in the nation, with homeowners paying a median $7,793 in 2009, according to data compiled by the Tax Foundation.
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