Chatham Township Committee Greenlights 2023 Budget: No Municipal Tax Hike, with Bipartisan Backing

In a commitment to fiscal responsibility, Chatham Township paves the way for a promising 2023 with a budget that cuts Open Space Tax Rate and retains the municipal tax flat.

The Chatham Township Committee proudly announced the introduction of its 2023 budget at the committee meeting held on April 25, 2023. The budget, which passed with broad bipartisan support, maintains the current municipal purposes tax rate at 0.321 per $100 of assessed value, ensuring no increase in municipal tax.

A notable highlight of the budget is the reduction in the Open Space Tax Rate from 2% to 1.5%. This reduction translates into a net lower tax rate for the residents compared to the previous year.

Mayor Ashley Felice commended the fiscal strategy after the budget's introduction, stating, "This budget signifies our commitment to prudent fiscal management, providing top-tier services to residents and investing in our community's future. I extend my heartfelt thanks to the Committee members for their bipartisan effort in shaping a budget that caters to the needs of all Chatham residents."

The budget smartly employs the fund balance or surplus in line with best practices, leading to a healthier surplus than in recent years. This accomplishment is particularly noteworthy considering the rising costs of government operation in New Jersey. Despite these challenges, the Township ensured service levels remained consistent with the previous year, while also supporting essential capital investments that the Chatham community rightly deserves.

The breakdown of taxpayer's contributions reveals that only about 17 cents of every dollar fund Township services. This portion, under the Township Committee's purview, is allocated towards a myriad of services including police protection, storm clean-up, snow removal, road maintenance, and more. The remaining 83 cents are directed towards County, School, and Library taxes, which are independently set.

Before the budget's introduction, Township Administrator Ziad Andrew Shehady presented a public briefing explaining the budget process, appropriations, revenues, and their impact on taxpayers. This meeting was broadcast live and recorded for viewing on YouTube. The adoption and final public hearing on the budget is slated for Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. The complete 2023 budget as introduced is accessible on the Township website.

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