The Woodland Park Borough Council at its April 18 meeting adopted its 2018 budget.
“We were looking at a significant increase,” Mayor Kazmark said, noting that the tax hike was looking at well exceeding $100 on the average home.
However, through the efforts of the Mayor and Council, the budget was trimmed to result in what will be an increase of $60 on the Borough average home, which is assessed at $345,000. “We feel this is a manageable increase,” he said. “It’s the cost of a night out for a family.”
Total appropriations for the 2018 budget are $18,124,248.46. The amount to be raised by taxation is $13,697,967.
Mayor Kazmark said that the governing body works each year to keep healthcare costs for Borough employees reasonable. “Health insurance is always the largest increase each year,” he said. An ad hoc committee worked to find less expensive options and employees are now contributing more towards their plans. The combination resulted in a reduction in the healthcare line item of $532,000.
Salaries and pension obligation are up a combined $442,000. “This is well outside the scope of the Council,” Kazmark added. These are contractual obligations that the Council has no control over.
The Mayor reminded residents that the Borough only keeps about 25% of tax dollars that pass through. The remaining 75% is controlled by the local school district, regional high school and County of Passaic.