PARSIPPANY – Mayor Michael Soriano and the members of the Township administration received a revised balanced budget proposal to the Township Council on Tuesday evening, which continues township services and avoids any layoffs or reductions to the township workforce.
The revised budget includes a municipal tax increase of 2.15%, which complies with both the appropriation cap and the levy cap, and does not utilize monies from either the sewer or water utilities for the first time in over 10 years.
“This budget is balanced, fiscally responsible, and meets both the Council and the Department of Community Affairs requirements,” said Business Administrator Fred Carr. “At the end of the day, it’s our duty as township administrators to continue providing the services that our residents depend on while keeping costs down. This budget meets every one of those requirements.”
The budget includes the $2.3 million Special Emergency Note appropriation, as well as $2.7 million allocated from the American Rescue Plan to offset the budgetary shortfall Parsippany encountered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting municipal budgets across the country.
Reductions across every department, while difficult decisions to make, help to avoid reducing or eliminating any essential services. The Township also avoids any utility surplus transfers to offset unforeseen budget shortfalls, opting instead to explore canceling appropriation reserves and treating township utilities as self-sustaining entities. This change will ensure that utilities are both responsible for their own budget status, and transparent in the township budgeting in the future.
“This budget process was a challenge, to say the least, but making big decisions are rarely easy,” said Mayor Michael Soriano. “Part of the reason I ran for Mayor is that I felt that the township’s financial discipline needed improvement. Now, with some fine-tuning and precision, our Township’s finances can finally start to improve. This budget is not some overnight fix, but it contains details that will set us on the path to sound fiscal practices. We owe it to our residents to be frank and open about what their local government is doing to improve the quality of life in Parsippany. I think we’ve done just that with this budget.”
“Despite the multiple challenges surrounding it, the budget is well structured, which is rewarding in the end,” added Township Chief Financial Officer Juan Uribe.
Now that mayor has submitted the budget, it will be up to the Council to introduce and approve it.