The municipal portion of the average homeowner’s tax bill will increase $99 this year.
The council approved the township’s 2012 $77.9 million municipal budget Wednesday, , a 2 percent increase.
The budget includes a $58.9 million tax levy, the portion of the budget funded by local taxes, up from $56.7 million in 2011. The average home in Wayne is valued at $229,000.
The council voted five to two to approve the budget. Councilmen Al Sadowski and Joseph Scuralli voted the budget down. Councilwoman Lonni Miller Ryan and Councilman Joseph Schweighardt were absent.
“I’ve never voted for a tax increase because I don’t believe the tax burden can be expanded any further than it already has been,” Scuralli said. “I believe people are at their limit and I don’t believe they can afford to pay more.”
The average homeowner’s taxes would have gone up an average of $112 if the budget that was introduced in March was approved, but changes were made to reduce the increase.
In order for taxes to remain flat year over year, the council would’ve had to cut $2.3 million out of the budget, which would have severely curtailed the services the town would offer, officials said. The township lost $35 million in tax ratables from this year to last year.
“We’re doing the best we can in the current economic conditions,” Mayor Chris Vergano said.
The $99 increase means the average homeowner's taxes have increased about $226 form last year.
The school portion of the average homeowner’s taxes increased $127 after the earlier this year.
The average municipal tax bill increased $89 in 2011.
Salaries and wages dropped slightly from $28.8 million last year to $28.5 million this year.
The number of full-time employees decreased slightly from 362 to 366.
The number of part-time employees remained level at 93.