Updated surplus numbers may result in more savings for Cranbury residents

BY Christopher Lang, Correspondent, @topherlang2, MonroeNow, Oct 24, 2019

CRANBURY – It’s a case of the rich getting richer, said Cranbury Township Mayor Jay Taylor after discussing that the township is on track to regenerate its surplus plus extra used in 2019, which will help offset short- and long-term municipal financial obligations again in 2020.

The projected surplus increase comes from new development assessments, raising the anticipated amount from $1.3 million to nearly $2 million by year’s end.

The township used $1.79 million of surplus in the 2019 $11.9 million budget. The nearly $2 million in anticipated surplus will bring the account to slightly more than the 2018 year-ending amount of $8 million.

“What it means to our Cranbury residents is that our debt picture is going to dramatically improve because the amount of bonding we anticipated is going to be substantially less,” Taylor said.

The township has several big-ticket items it plans to address including repairing heavily-used streets and the Brainerd Lake dredging project. With the extra surplus, the township can shift more cash into upcoming capital projects and rely less on borrowing.

“Our surplus, instead of having a draw-down, [has] actually increased again and at the rate that the surplus is at today with our interest rates in the bank, basically the surplus is bringing in interest that’s the equivalent of 1 cent on our tax rate,” Taylor said. “So we have the interest and it’s really the classic statement of the rich getting richer.”

The latest projection comes after what has been a banner year for township taxpayers. Government officials provided a significant tax cut to residents in the municipal budget and the school board also reduced its tax rate approximately 8 cents per $100 of assessed value.

The reduced tax rates for both budgets show no indications that services will be reduced.