Jackson Introduces 2024 Budget With Tax Impact Decrease

The Jackson Township Municipal operating budget has been released to the public, and Mayor Michael Reina is pleased to announce that municipal tax rate will go down slightly in 2024 for taxpayers.

Jackson Township Business Administrator Terrance Wall presented the budget to the township council and to the public at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The township council voted unanimously on Tuesday to introduce the budget for a future second reading and passage in May.

Wall credited the 2024 tax decrease to the hard work of Township Chief Financial Officer Sharon Pinkava and Patricia Schwark, along with all of the department heads and staff in the township.

He went on and explained to residents and the town council that while the operating budget is presented annually, it is an ongoing process that happens every day throughout the year through the entire administration working to make sure that every dollar spent is accounted for at every level of the local government.

The 2024 budget accounted for an increase in miscellaneous revenue beyond what was anticipated in the 2023 budget.

Wall said the township anticipated $583,000 in revenue from returns on investments and deposits, but realized $1.7 million in revenue on those accounts for the fiscal year 2023.

Unanticipated revenue increases are also attributed to the tax decrease in the budget in the form of $1 million in unanticipated revenue from off-duty surcharges, a solar farm lease, a cell tower rental agreement, and gas and fuel reimbursements.

Wall explained that the majority of the township’s operating budget is derived from statutory costs associated with employee payroll, health and benefits, and contractual agreements.

The average assessed home will have a decrease of $7.70 per $100,000 of assessed value.

The township has also seen an increase in commercial ratables, alleviating homeowners’ tax burden.

“There are no budget gimmicks,” Wall said. “The numbers are the numbers. You have to fund the goods and services required by the people who live and work in Jackson Township. Every dollar spent in Jackson is well spent on your behalf.”

The overall assessed property value of Jackson has increased by approximately $170 million, according to Wall.

“I have worked in a number of communities and I would argue that Jackson Township is one of the most fiscally responsible communities in the state of New Jersey, bar none,” Wall concluded.

“Jackson Township is in a healthy financial state and probably better than it has ever been,” Reina said. “We have new commercial ratables taking some more of the burden off our residents, we’re spending wisely, doing more with fewer dollars and our entire team is focused on reigning in expenses across the board. Considering the level of inflation and increases in costs of health insurance, contracts and utilities, combined with mandates at the Federal and State levels, I’m proud to say that we won’t have to pass any of those increases on to the residents of Jackson. Being fiscally responsible at the local level even under these circumstances is a job we were elected to do!”

“Jackson Township and the county both recognize the cost of services are escalating; however, locally, we held the line,” said Council President Jennifer Kuhn. “We are reducing the average impact on every home due to the the administration of Mayor Reina and administration that works hard every day to make Jackson a great place to live.”

Councilman Mordechai Burnstein credited the teamwork between the administration and the township council and their dedication to making sure the interests of the residents were accounted for during the budget process.

Councilman Steven Chisolm thanked the financial department and Business Administrator Wall for their hard work on the budget.

“Despite the economy we’re in, where everyone is paying more for almost anything, including gas; I’m glad to see there is a cut in the municipal tax rate, and [we maintain] a double A municipal tax rating.”

“Like every year, I look forward to hearing the introduction of the municipal operating budget for this fiscal year and I’m cautiously optimistic that this year’s budget is a good and fiscally responsible plan for Jackson residents,” said councilman Nino Borelli.

The council voted unanimously 5-0 to approve the budget on first reading. A second and final reading will be held in May. Wall said residents can examine the budget online at anytime. Residents can ask questions about the budget at that meeting or contact Administration at any time.

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