2024 Budget Adoption Is Late - Is Manville Being Fined?

2024 Budget Adoption Is Late - Is Manville Being Fined?

By Manville.Today
April 24, 2024

Manville's 2024 municipal budget introduction is late again. The 2024 municipal budget was supposed to be introduced at the April 8th meeting, but then was pushed to the April 22nd meeting. And at the April 22nd meeting, it was yet again pushed back. The budget is now expected to be introduced at the May 6th council meeting. Why so many delays?

During Councilman Joseph DeVito's committee report on finance, he stated: "This change allows us to fine tune our budget proposal, and ensure that all aspects are thoroughly reviewed and considered. Our team has devoted significant time and effort to create a budget that addresses structural gaps, ensures efficient operations, and maintains a balanced approach that doesn't overburden taxpayers."

During recent meetings, there appears to be pre-emptive blame being passed onto the other components that make up property tax bills, namely the School and County tax. The school board has held taxes flat for the past 7 years.

DeVito commented: "While we manage our budget diligently, we have limited control over county and school budgets."

For some background, the State of NJ puts deadlines* on when municipal budgets are to be introduced and adopted. For 2024, these dates are March 29th for the introduction of the budget, and April 30th for the adoption of the budget.

However, governing bodies (in this case our Mayor & Council) can adopt a Resolution by March 29th to extend the date further, if more time is needed. To our knowledge, no such Resolution was introduced and/or adopted to move the date out further.

There is also a penalty for failing to timely adopt the budget. The fine, per the State of NJ, is up to $25 per day that it is late.*

During the Public Portion of the meeting, a resident brought up this exact question regarding if Manville is now being fined because the deadlines have passed.

Council President Ron Skirkanish deferred to Councilman DeVito to respond to the resident's question. Councilman Joseph DeVito responded: "My understanding is that the CFO is handling that. He's.. he said that we are OK. That is as much as I know."

It's clear that Councilman DeVito had no answer to her question. Is Manville being fined by the State for not introducing and adopting their budget on time?

$25 per day doesn't sound like much, but it can definitely add up, especially for a town like ours who has to watch every dollar spent.

* https://nj.gov/dca/dlgs/lfns/2023-22.pdf