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Belleville Council Starts Budget Process

The spending plan is called "very preliminary" by township officials, with more spending cuts coming to reduce the tax burden for Belleville property owners.

The Belleville Township Council recently began working on its municipal budget.

Township officials say it's time to decide what to cut and what to keep, and how to relieve overburdened taxpayers. The seven township council members all voted to introduce the 2012 town budget at the May 22 public meeting.

Officials said $1.2 million is already trimmed from the preliminary $56.4 million budget, and some council members have said more will be cut.

They say they want to keep essential services, including police and fire personnel and equipment, but also don't want to overburden taxpayers with a large increase in municipal taxes.

First Ward Councilwoman Marie Strumolo Burke was one council member who did not unwaveringly support the budget process, saying she feels left out of the process.

"I'm not on the committee, and do not get regular updates on what's happening," she said. "But I will support a plan that is in the best interests of the taxpayers."

Voters already approved a $61.3 million 2012-13 Board of Education budget on April 17 that contains a zero dollar tax increase for a home assessed at $244,562, the average price of a home in Belleville

This is the second  year in a row that the average tax bill has not been raised by the Board of Education.

The Essex County Budget, which is the third budget that affects taxpayers, is not yet finalized.

The final 2011 municipal budget totaled more than $56 million and kept taxes basically the same as 2010, according to officials.

Belleville Sentinel June 04, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Since the Township's budget for the 2012-13 FY is still in production, isn't it a bit premature to site such deficit numbers especially considering how the Council has not increased property taxes (for the average assessed home) for the last 2 years while paying off Township debts by almost $15 million since 2006 and having no layoffs in the process? And the Township is hoping once again to have a $0 Municipal tax increase for the next fiscal year. In regard to Mr. Canning's service as a consultant during the interim period while the transition is made to a new Township manager, this is something that all 7 Council members approved and felt was in the best interest of the Township.
Belleville Sentinel June 04, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Our tax bill actually dropped last year owing to the pro-active Town-wide reassessments performed by Kevin Esposito and the prudent management of the Town Council and Victor Canning. We have yet to receive a tax bill for FY2012-13 so I can't comment upon this speculation.

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