Archive for the ‘Budgets’ Category

Municipal Budgets 2021 (6) Insurance

Comparing pension records as to employee counts to 2021 budget allocations that municipalities in Union County paid for insurance including group health, health benefit waivers , and general liability including workers compensation yields these spreadsheets with rankings by municipality.

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Municipal Budgets 2021 (5) Debt Rankings

Per Capita, Linden has the largest debt payment and (after Winfield which has no debt) Hillside has the smallest debt payment in 2021.

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Municipal Budgets 2021 (4) Pension Contributions

Comparing pension records to 2021 budget allocations that municipalities in Union County made for their contributions to the New Jersey Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) shows that, on average, PERS and PFRS contributions made up 8.17% of total budgets, representing $170 per resident. The average contribution as a percentage of a participant’s salary came to 25.03% with $19,942 as the average contribution per participant.

Spreadsheets with this data and a breakdown by municipality follow.

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Municipal Budgets 2021 (3) Salary Rankings

On average, Hillside pays the most and Garwood the least.

Budgets include part-timers and employee counts are arbitrary. Salaries in the 2021 budgets are included in these worksheets but it is pension records as June 30, 2021, which presumably would include all the full-timers, from which these comparisons are drawn.

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Municipal Budgets 2021 (2) Tax Rankings

How much does each municipality in Union County charge their taxpayers for the services they provide?

Other blogs in this series will compare costs by types of service, debt, insurance, and pensions. This one calculates the amount raised by taxation for 2021 divided by population which is an imperfect measurement since owners of commercial properties pay taxes (substantial in cases like our costliest municipality) but are not counted in population figures. They also do not have children to educate or entertain and on account of the jobs they provide are often a boon for their municipalities.

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Municipal Budgets 2021 (1) Websites and Who Pays the Most and Least

That is the question we look to answer in this series.

All but two municipalities in Union County have their 2021 budgets online so this is a good time for comparisons.

We start off with links to the websites where those budgets are uploaded. On Monday we will put up a a ranking of taxes paid per capita by municipality based on these budgets and the latest census data. Future blogs will compare debt levels, number of employees, payroll, and pension and health insurance costs.

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UCCF 11/4/21: Who Gets an 18.82% Pay Hike?

For years Union County commissioners received annual salaries of $29,500 with the Chair of the Board getting an extra $2,000 and the Vice Chair an extra $1,000.

In 2015 raise ordinances started including commissioner salaries and these fixes have become a seasonal event. At the last  meeting, at a time of private sector layoffs and furloughs and a less ceremonial work for commissioners to do, we got:

835-2021 FIXING THE SALARIES OF MEMBERS OF THE UNION COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, COUNTY MANAGER AND DEPARTMENT HEADS.

Those new salaries:

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KBudget(5): Soft Costs Hit Hard

$79,230.50 was Paid or Charged for Engineering Services and Costs for 2020. However, billing records show that the borough engineer, Harbor Consultants, invoiced $297,700 in 2020 (see below). Where would that extra money be coming from?

About those soft costs:

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KBudget(4): Paying to Fight Merck

The salary amount represents $2,999.17 paid each month to this guy:

As for the increase in Other Expenses:

Here is who we have fighting Merck and how much it means in taxes:

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KBudget(3): Shared Tax Hikes

Governor Murphy’s prime (only) initiative to reduce property taxes is Shared Services. Here is how that worked out in Kenilworth for 2021:

If you’re counting that’s:

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