SUMMIT, NJ — Most of the Summit Common Council meeting last week featured a breakdown of the city’s municipal budget for 2022, which includes a slight tax increase for residents.
City Administrator Michael Rogers presented the new budget on Tuesday, April 5. He said for the average assessed home in Summit, which is valued at $425,988, the average tax increase is $140 more for 2022.
The municipal portion of taxes also saw an increase of 1.98% over last year.
In total, Summit is proposing a budget of $64 million for 2022. This includes an operating budget of $52 million, up 1.3% from last year, as well as a capital budget of $2.1 million, a sewer services budget of $7 million and parking of $2.4. public service budget.
Rogers explained that the majority, 46%, of the taxes go to the school district, and the city gets about 20%.
In terms of challenges in the new budget, Rogers said revenue is the biggest issue facing the city right now.
“Revenue has been an issue for a number of years now,” Rogers said. “This year, although we have seen some improvement in some revenue elements, we are still not where we were in 2019.”
The city’s interest on investments, or deposit income, is 83% lower than it was in 2019, when it raised $522,000. This year, the city is planning about $100,000 in revenue.
Rogers said municipal court costs have also been on a downward trend since 2019. The average amount collected in court costs in 2019 was $500,000, and Rogers said this year the city only expects around $200,000.
Another significant revenue loss was from parking services, Rogers said. Parking revenue improved in 2021, but is still $1 million lower than the amount achieved in 2019.
Rogers added that municipal debt has increased by $600,000 this year, and he said the debt continues to grow each year.
The cost of curbside curbside collection is expected to double, and the city has increased salaries for crossing guards, adding additional costs to Summit. General liability/workers’ compensation insurance and pension obligations for police and firefighters also increased this year.
On the positive side, Rogers said the Summit Family Aquatic Center had its best year with a revenue increase of $125,000. Municipal court fees and hotel/motel occupancy fees are being recovered.
Conversely, the city receives less revenue from cable television franchise royalties.
Another major contribution was $118,000 from the FEMA Cares Act to offset the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, and $100,000 was allocated to the general capital surplus fund for canceled projects.
As part of the 2022 capital budget, Rogers shared a variety of improvements the city will fund. This includes $230,000 for the fire department to provide a new fire station alert system, new equipment, equipment, and replacement fire hoses.
The police department will receive $100,000 to replace frontline patrol vehicles, and the Department of Community Services will receive $855,000 for a number of major road improvement projects, as well as a micropaving program, traffic light upgrades, pedestrian safety upgrades, storm water maintenance and more.
The capital money will also be used to upgrade the Mabie playground and basketball court, as well as other park furniture.
The complete presentation of the budget and the board meeting can be consulted on Summit YouTube Channel below.
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