Harrison committee passes 2024 municipal budget

Joseph Metz/The Sun

The Harrison Township Committee adopted a 2024 municipal budget after a public hearing at its May 6 meeting.

The financial plan is estimated at $14,676,306, a 4.2% increase of $590,466 from last year’s budget of $14,085,840. It comes with a 3.3-cent increase in the local tax rate for a home with an assessed value of 59.3 cents per $100. That means a $9.58 monthly increase in taxes, $114.92 annually. Mullica Hill homeowners will pay $2,065 in local taxes for the year, with $172.08 monthly payments.

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Despite the increase, the committee reported, Harrison Township will have the fifth lowest tax rate in Gloucester County’s 24 towns.

The budget will cover municipal services such as public safety and policing; trash/recycling programs; the yard-waste pickup program; debt service costs; and capital improvement projects, among others.

The committee pinpointed the exact percentages of costs. The Harrison school district will receive 30%, the Clearview Regional School District will get 25%, 23% will go toward county taxes, 17% to the local municipal tax, 3% to the Harrison fire district and 2% to municipal open space.

“We are proud of our administrative leadership and department heads who have once again delivered a budget for our approval that maintains the high level of service our residents have come to expect,” said Mayor Louis Manzo.

According to the committee, the budget was formulated as municipal departments like public works and the police department, the wastewater treatment facility and the clerk’s office face lower levels of staffing. In the case of public works and police, there have been minimal staff increases.

“They continue to do this short staffed as we await the needed and expected revenue from future commercial development,” Manzo explained.

Other budget challenges include increased costs for basic supplies, material, service, employment benefits and fuel.

The next Harrison committee meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 20.

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