Clark Council approved the 2012 Municipal Budget at last night's council meeting. The budget includes a two-point property tax increase, which translates to an increase of $20 per $100,000 in assessed home value for Clark residents. The average house in Clark is assessed at $183,000, which translates to an average increase of $36.60 this year.
Those numbers reflect only the municipal budget and do not include the 2012 school budget or county tax increases. The budget remains well within Governor Christie's two percent cap. See the full budget in PDF form in our gallery, right.
"Clark Council voted unanimously to approve this budget for the public hearing knowing full well that it reflects a 1.01 percent increase in our tax levy," said Councilman Pat O'Connor, who presented the budget. "Governor Christie and the legislators have mandated that the most that the levy could increase was two percent over the previous year. This budget does better than that, which the state allows. We present this budget with the knowledge that we will continue to provide services you requested without taking away jobs from our hard-working employees. After reading the papers, this is something we are proud to say."
Municipal salary expenditures accounted for a $30,000 increase over last year. O'Connor said the other major expense increases were to the following items: debt payments ($77,000), gasoline ($35,000), building and grounds ($29,000), grass ($15,000), health benefits ($40,000), streets and roads ($36,000), engineering ($27,000) and other items totaling $259,202.
"It should be noted that those increases were offset by decreasing other appropriations by $129,153," said O'Connor.
The total amount to be raised by taxes (including the minimum library tax) for 2012 is $14,917,413.96 – an increase of $149,270.43 over last year.
No members of the public came forward with any questions or comments on the budget in its public hearing last night.