The township committee will begin discussing the municipal budget at tonight’s caucus meeting at 7 p.m.
During the last week of February, Gov. Chris Christie released his proposed budget with municipal state aid figures. Lacey Township will receive flat state aid under Christie's proposed plan, with total formula aid maintained at
“Given the cut in aid in recent years I am relieved this trend has stopped,” Mayor Mark Dykoff previously said.
But the committee does not yet know whether the township is in the black or red, Dykoff said. Dykoff also could not speculate as to whether cuts will be made or if taxes would increase.
“We will not know until the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) has incorporated all the numbers into the budget,” he said.
, the township faced a $3.2 million shortfall and raised taxes. For the average assessed house at $318,000, for the year and $6.32 per month.
Lacey will continue to work under the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap. “I for one am not in favor of a referendum to exceed the 2 percent cap,” Dykoff said. State law allows municipalities to budget beyond the cap if voters approve.
The township will be receiving $11,107,558 from the energy tax and $166,282 for the Garden State Trust, which decreased by $82,000 since 2010.
With the announcement of the in 2019, members of the committee were concerned that the state would continue to decrease its energy tax, which accounts for approximately 42.6 percent of their budget, according to township Administrator Veronica Laureigh. In 2010, the state cut $450,000 from Lacey’s energy tax.
The department heads have submitted their budget requests to the township administrator who will work with the CFO to present a budget to the committee, Dykoff said.
“I have no idea right now what we’re facing,” said Laureigh, who was also glad to see the stability in state aid this year.
Each department head was given a spreadsheet in November, Laureigh said. The proposals they submitted include decreases, increases, promotions and capital requests.
“We will begin reviewing them as soon as they are presented to the committee which should be shortly given the fact that we now have the state aid figures,” he said.
The township committee will be holding its first budget workshop meeting on Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m.