Property Tax Rate Preview & Potential Fire Truck Purchase

Property Tax Rate Preview & Potential Fire Truck Purchase

By Manville.Today
June 26, 2024

Monday night's Borough Council meeting was mostly uneventful. A new ordinance on expanding the number snow emergency streets was introduced and several resolutions passed. Of note, the mayor mentioned that the tax rate was almost finalized. He provided a preliminary rate of 2.251 which is not yet certified, and could change.

To calculate your potential property tax bill using this rate do this:

  • Take your 2024 assessed value. (Example: $350,000)
  • Multiply it by 2.251 (Ex: 350,000 x 2.251 = 787,850)
  • Divide that number by 100. (Ex: 787,850 / 100 = 7,878.50)
  • Divide by 4 to get a rough idea of your quarterly property tax payment. (Ex: 7,878.50 / 4 = $1,969.63)

A few random checks on properties show that an assessment increase of approximately $24,000 or less would keep your taxes flat. Any assessments that increased over $24,000 will result in a tax increase. Remember last year, the Mayor was boasting there would be "no tax increase for 5 years" if the sewer system referendum was approved.

One item of note came during the committee reports. During the mayor's update he commented about the new fire truck that the Borough needs since our current ladder truck is 27 years old.

Mayor Richard Onderko indicated he hopes State Senator Steinhardt takes him seriously and "put him on notice" that he wants a $2 million dollar budget stipend for Manville to cover this cost.

"If we don't get it, we have the surplus from the sewer utility which will be over $2 million dollars in surplus that we're gonna use wisely to come up with a reasonable financing agreement and option for acquiring this truck." Mayor Onderko commented.

We think using the bulk (if not all) of the surplus from the sale of the sewer should warrant public comment. The whole purpose of the sewer sale was to get Manville out of debt, to have a surplus to get things done around town, and to help stabilize taxes.

By using the full amount of the surplus on a single purchase, does that set us up for failure should other issues arise?

On a side note, we attended the Somerset County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday. Mayor Richard Onderko was in attendance. When the public portion opened, the mayor got up to speak. He never once mentioned the need for a fire truck, the impact of the county's taxes on Manville, or funding.

Instead, he discussed stormwater management, and defended Manville's property assessment program. He stated he wants 5 other towns to join the program. Despite complaining during council meetings about the County, he didn't seem to be doing much of that on Tuesday evening. Remember, Manville's high assessments are why Manville pays more in county taxes. As Manville's assessment value rises, the share of taxes paid will increase as a result.