Members of the Cranbury Township Committee have said the municipal tax rate will decrease by 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation from 2018 to 2019. With that decrease, property owners will pay less in municipal taxes.
Speaking during a budget workshop meeting that was held at the municipal building on Feb. 2, Mayor James Taylor, Deputy Mayor Dan Mulligan, Committeeman Mike Ferrante, Committeeman Glenn Johnson and Committeeman Matthew Scott announced the change in the municipal tax rate.
“We knew coming into 2019 that (a decrease in the municipal tax rate) was a possibility. We agreed to do a hard reset of 10 cents per $100 and bring the rate back in line with an appropriate tax rate,” Taylor said.
In 2018, Cranbury’s municipal tax rate was 44.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home assessed at $650,000 paid $2,905 in municipal taxes.
Officials said the 2019 municipal tax rate is expected to be 34.7 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The owner of a home that is still assessed at $650,000 will pay $2,255 in municipal taxes – a decrease of $650.
Municipal taxes are one item on a property owner’s overall tax bill, which also includes school taxes and county taxes.
Denise Marabello, Cranbury’s township administrator and chief financial officer, said while the municipal budget will remain stable at about $12 million from 2018 to 2019, officials will tap the township’s surplus fund (savings) as they reduce the amount of taxes to be collected from property owners.
Marabello said officials used $950,000 from surplus as revenue in the 2018 budget. In 2019, officials will use $1.8 million from surplus as revenue in the budget.
Taylor said committee members are anticipating that the municipal tax rate will remain stable for the next two to three years assuming there are no unexpected expenses for Cranbury.
“Our whole plan as a Township Committee going back to when I was first elected was to put us in a position, when the economy rebounded, to reduce our taxes,” Taylor said. “This does not just happen by luck. This was a long time coming and a result of long-term planning.”
He said the township will not have to cut back on services as a result of the decrease in the municipal tax rate.
“We are increasing our funding to our fire and first aid companies. We have invested about $32,000 for the Shade Tree Commission, we are improving crosswalks, we are also purchasing additional speed signs to improve traffic safety,” he said.