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Frenchtown municipal tax rate rising almost 4%


The municipal property taxes on an average Frenchtown, N.J., home (valued at about $260,000) will rise $108 this year, according to the 2019 budget that was adopted on May 15. This does not include school and county taxes, over which borough council has no control.

The borough lost $3.8 million in ratables since last year, according to borough auditor Warren Korecky. Contributing to that loss were the explosion last summer of Galasso’s pizzeria and a successful tax appeal on the stalled River Mills housing development. But River Mills has a new owner who has expressed eagerness to complete the project, and the Frenchtown Cafe, which had been damaged by the explosion, is nearing full restoration, so some relief is in sight.

Because of the loss in ratables and increases in pension and health care costs, “there’s not a lot of excitement” in this year’s budget, Myhre said. But it does include $41,000 for a new rescue boat for the fire company and $15,000 for a traffic advisory sign with trailer from the capital account.

The borough tax rate is going from 88.5 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to 92 cents, an increase of just under 4 percent. That means a $70 increase in taxes for a property valued at $200,000. Korecky notes that most of the increase is just to make up for the loss in ratables.

This property tax will contribute $1,369,034 toward a 2019 budget of $2,261,966. The borough budget includes money for road and park maintenance, snow removal, police protection, and debt service.

The sewer system budget of $975,526, is being approved as a separate part of the borough budget package. But its revenue comes only from ratepayers who are hooked into the system. That budget is down 1.2 percent from 2018, so sewer fees will not rise this year.