Westwood Introduces $16.8M Budget
Taxes could rise $84 for the average borough homeowner under the proposed budget.
Municipal taxes for the owner of an average Westwood home assessed at $398,000 would rise $84 under a budget introduced by the borough council Tuesday night.
The proposed $16,815,478 budget is an increase of 1.88 percent from last year's budget, according to Councilwoman Cynthia Waneck, the finance liason. The introduced budget is available on the borough website here.
Officials had a difficult time with the budget this year because of a decrease in non-tax revenue and a $17 million drop in the borough's assessed value, Waneck said. The decrease in Westwood's valuation would have meant a $28 increase for the average homeowner anyway, she said.
The council cut requested capital expenditures down from about $2.4 million to about $1.3 million and cut more than $660,000 from requested operating expenses, according to Waneck.
"I think it's resulted in the least possible taxes while maintaining services in the borough," Waneck said.
Westwood will not continue its road repaving project this year due to the cuts, but will continue with the planned Broadway intersection improvement, Waneck said. The improvement project will upgrade intersections along Broadway to allow traffic to continue to move when trains pass.
About $12.3 million of this year's budget would come from taxes. Another $1.4 million would come from the surplus.
Officials noted that the municipal tax levy affects only a portion of residents' tax bills. If the Westwood Regional Board of Education approves their budget as proposed, it will mean a slight decrease in taxes for the average Westwood homeowner, district officials previously said. The effect of county taxes was not yet available.
The Westwood Council will hold a public hearing for the proposed budget April 16 at 8 p.m. in the Municipal Complex.