The Mayor and Council adopted its 2017 municipal budget at its public meeting May 4, 2017. The Budget Committee consisting of, Mayor J. Minichetti, Councilmen V. Durante, S. DiMartino and R. DeBerardine worked diligently to limit expenses and maintain a stable tax rate. Although many State mandated and uncontrollable expenses such as pension costs, health care and contractual salary expenses have increased, the 2017 budget has resulted in a municipal tax increase of $76.00 for an average assessed home of $755,500.00. The following are some items of interest:

The Borough of Upper Saddle River utilizes a General Ledger to keep an accurate accounting of all municipal finances. Recently our 2016 Audit was presented to the Council. The recommendations made by the Auditor will have been made by the end of June, 2017.

For years 2014 through 2016,  the tax rate decreased slightly.  In 2017 the tax increase is .01 or 2.7% over the previous year.  Effectively then the taincrease from 2014 to 2017 was 2.7% averaging less than 1% annual increaseDivide the increase of 2.7% by 4 years, it amounts to an increase of .675% per year.

For the years 2012 to 2016,  the collection rate has increased from 98.88% to 99.25%. Also, the amount of delinquent taxes from 2012 to 2016 has decreased from $503,558.72 to 279,959.76. In 2012, eleven (11) tax liens were sold at the annual tax sale compared to 2 tax liens sold at the 2016 tax sale.

During budget deliberations, consideration is given to our five year capital improvement budget. That portion of the budget includes funds allocated for road resurfacing, replacement of equipment in all departments, compliance with State and Federal mandates such as self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighter safety, lengths of large diameter hose for the fire department, replacement of heating equipment and roof replacement including wood surfaces on the salt barn to comply with DEP regulations dealing with the storage of road salting materials.  Each year we review with each department’scapital requirements to arrive at meaningful amounts.

In the last ten years we have worked to keep our outstanding debt at the lowest level possible.  This is one of the major reasons that Moody’s has awarded its Triple A rating to Upper Saddle River during this period of time.We also work to pay off as much debt as we can if funds are available; for example in 2016, we paid off $3.3 Million of outstanding debt.  Going forward we will continue to monitor our debt and keep it as low as possible. Upper Saddle River is in compliance with statutory limits.

Upper Saddle River only borrows monewhen the need arises. For five years prior to 2016 the interest rate was less than 1% per year paid on borrowed funds. In 2016 the Borough paid 1.20% interest on its Bans financing.  Because of Moody’s Triple A rating, we took complete advantage of low prevailing interest rates.

Our Bonds and Notes are based upon the needs of the Borough of Upper Saddle River and are in compliance with State Statute. We do not make any decisions or opinions on what other municipalities do as each have different needs, priorities, and financial projections.