Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bergen Beat: Englewood Cliffs council calls special meeting on budget

Englewood Cliffs council calls special meeting on budget

The Englewood Cliffs mayor and council will hold a special meeting Monday night to discuss the 2012 budget.
The council held its first public budget session Feb. 18.
The Democrats, who now control the council, have accused the Republicans of leaving them with a budget deficit, but borough officials have yet to release detailed budget documents to show how that deficit accrued.
During a work session meeting last month, Democratic Mayor Joseph Parisi Jr. had auditor Steve Wilcox give a brief presentation, during which he said the borough is facing a $1.4 million tax levy increase, which would translate into a $550 tax hike for the owner of a home assessed at the borough average of $1.25 million.
The 2011 budget carried a $10.47 million tax levy. But with revenue down and spending up, Wilcox said the borough is looking at an $11.87 million levy this year, which exceeds the state-mandated cap on property taxes and would need to be reduced.
The 2011 budget used $955,000 in surplus, compared to $604,000 in 2010.
Wilcox’s preliminary report notes that the municipal court is operating at a $21,300 deficit and that the borough will receive $65,000 less in commercial sewer fees this year. His report says salary and wages are up $77,151, a figure that does not appear to include retroactive raises an arbitrator awarded the police.
Since the Democrats took over, they have reinstated a deputy clerk position, which the GOP cut, and rehired the former zoning officer, also naming him building sub-code official, at double the rate two part-time people were being paid in those roles.
The meeting will be held in the Municipal Building, 482 Hudson terrace, at 7 p.m. The council will also discuss pending tax appeals and proposed tax settlements.

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