West Orange is a big town, with far bigger budget woes than Verona, and so it has had to take big steps to fix them. Last night, its Township Council approved an amended 2011 municipal budget that eliminates 48 jobs to keep the property tax increase to zero. According to the Alternative Press, the job losses took $4 million out of the budget, which now stands at $72.2 million.
The job were eliminated through layoffs and attrition. Earlier this spring, eight police jobs were cut and 16 other officers were demoted. The West Orange Fire Department, which unlike Verona is a paid department, agreed to a 7.5% pay giveback and minimal raises going forward to stave off the loss of 16 jobs.
West Orange also managed a flat budget for 2010 by selling the future revenue from two cell phone towers for $2 million. Its tax rate for 2010 was 12.983 per $100 of assessed value; it completed a revaluation earlier this year but has not announced the new rate. Verona’s 2011 rate will be 2.549.
Wow, $12.983/$100… was that before the reval? Has to be!! Verona’s tax rate before our reval was $9.91, but correct me if I am wrong.
We have several residents living in Verona now who used to live in West Orange… precisely because of the high taxes.
Virginia, can you confirm if the tax rate you cited is pre/post reval?
Yes, that is the pre-reval rate. The new West Orange rate has not been announced or certified.