More Articles Click

Exploring the 2024 Harrison Town Budget: 10 Take Aways From The Budget

Mar 27, 2024
Town of Harrison Budge Mayor Council Chambers

The Town of Harrison's Chief Financial Officer introduced the Town of Harrison’s 2024 Municipal Budget at the Mayor & Council meeting held on Tuesday, March 26, 2024.  A hearing on the Budget will be held at the Mayor & Council meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2024. Here are some highlights from the Budget.  

  1. Increased State Funding: The Town of Harrison sees a rise in state aid to $12,818,666 in 2024, up from 2023’s $12,162,077, indicating bolstered support from New Jersey.
  2. State Aid's Role: This 2024 state aid forms 23% of Harrison's Municipal budget, highlighting its significance in municipal finances.
  3. Education Costs: Harrison schools benefit from $28,837,906 plus additional State funds, earmarked for security ($1,271,168), special education ($2,660,879), and transportation ($157,728) for a total from the State of New Jersey of $33,566,361.  Harrison is an Abbott District thus it gets the above very favorable State School Aid. Harrison Property Tax Payers are not off the hook for educational costs, however. Approximately 32% of a Harrison Homeowner’s Property Tax Bill goes to the Harrison Board of Education adding additional money to the 33 Million per year. Can someone calculate what that is per student?
  4. Municipal Property Tax Shifts: In 2024 the Town of Harrison Property owners will be billed  $16,743,659. That is not the total property tax bill.  The almost 17 million dollars is 50% of the total property tax bill. There are additional payments beyond the $16.743,659 in the Harrison Property Owners Tax Bill. The Board of Education gets an additional 32% of property taxes. The County of Hudson gets an additional 17% of property taxes and the Harrison Library gets an additional 1% of the total property taxes above and beyond the $16,743.659.
  5. PILOTs Financial Impact: New apartment buildings and other properties in Harrison Redevelopment Zone will contribute $14,000,000 through PILOTs, a key revenue stream that continues to increase year after year for redevelopment efforts. Over 26 years ago, Mayor McDonough and then Council set into action the conversion of contaminated industrial properties into a luxury residential community.  This progress will be challenged if EPA’s plan to bring Toxic Cancer Causing Toxic Sludge onto the PSE&G property which is now in a residential zone. The proposed plant that Harrison Mayor James Fife is NOT opposing will be in what is now a residential community and across the street from several luxury apartment buildings.
  6. Robust Tax Collection: Harrison's property taxpayers are efficient in the payment of their property taxes with tax collection rates exceeding 99% in both 2023 and 2022.
  7. Library Maintenance Budget: The budget for the Harrison Public Library maintenance is over 1 million dollars.  It is not clear why it will cost over 1 million dollars to repair the library. The Library has received criticism for its limited hours and failure to make repairs in a timely fashion to open up the library’s children's section.
  8. Board of Education Transfers: The Town of Harrison apart from the State Aid (#3), and Harrison Property Taxpayer payments (#4) will also pay a School Debt Service of $934,324 to the Board of Education. Last year, the Town of Harrison transferred a total of $1,575,781 composed of $600,000 noted only as Transferred to the Board of Education, and $975,781 for School Debt Service.
  9. Municipal Court Revenue: Expected revenue from the Municipal Court shows growth, underscoring an upward trend in fines and fees collection in 2023 of $627,448.58
  10. Interest Income Surge: Anticipated interest on investments and deposits in 2023 was $2,037,994.03 exceeding previous projections, thanks to very favorable banking interest rates on deposits. It was anticipated in last year’s budget that it would be $325,000.00 a windfall for the Town of Harrison but it and increased PILOTs (#5) got eaten up by additional expenses. It is hard to decipher where the windfall went.

    We value your input! Share your thoughts on our Community Discussion Board. Haven't joined yet? Sign up now for free and be part of the conversation!