In Print: Garwood's Taxes to Rise as County's Budget is Bigger than Ever
The Freeholders of Union County are set to approve a $472,000,000 budget with tax increases for every homeowner in Garwood, and other municipalities in the county.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR GARWOOD?
Union County is expected to approve
$472M budget with tax increase, layoffs
By Julie O'Connor/The Star-Ledger
May 20, 2010, 7:00AM
UNION COUNTY — The Union County freeholders are expected to approve today a $472.7 million budget, a spending plan they say will increase the average homeowner’s annual tax bill $84, but benefits from cost-cutting efforts such as trimming spending on employee salaries.
If passed, the 2010 budget would be significantly greater than last year’s $442.5 million version, and would call for a more than 4.5 percent tax increase.
It would also include about $4.7 million in savings each year from more than 103 full-time and seasonal layoffs, retirements and eliminations of vacant positions, county officials said. Additional county layoffs are not expected, with further cuts to be achieved through retirements, according to county manager George Devanney.
"We don’t anticipate layoffs as it relates to county-funded programs and positioning," Devanney said, "but we have a watchful eye out to see what’s coming from the state."
The budget will send the average homeowner’s bill to $1,583. Towns with the largest property tax increases include Summit, at $198 per homeowner, and Westfield at $179. The lowest are Linden $9 per homeowner, and Elizabeth $25.
Critics say the budget still includes wasteful items such as catering costs for freeholder meetings, paid consultants and county vehicles. They argue expansion plans for Galloping Hill Golf Course, constructed in 2009, come at too high a price for taxpayers.
AVERAGE HOMEOWNER'S BILL: $1,583
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