NUTLEY – The Commissioner of Revenue and Finance wants a second term on the Board of Commissioners. A certified public accountant and Nutley native, Thomas Evans, 53,is a partner with Price Waterhouse Coopers, and the man on the board who gathers the budgets from the different departments, adds them up and tries to make it all fit.
“I’m the most junior commissioner, but I’m the tallest,” he joked.
Four years ago, Evans was the fourth highest vote-getter on the commission.
At Tuesday night’s commissioner’s meeting, Evans laid out the realties surrounding the town’s $47 million budget. He said Nutley residents would on average face a tax increase of $202 per household, the consequence of a $2 million growth in spending. But of that jump, $1.5 million is owing to forces beyond Nutley. The state has reduced funds this year by $321,000, and Nutley is also staring at an increase in the cost of processing sewage.
Considering that portion of spending in the budget managed directly by the commissioners, increases equal only about $40 per household, Evans said.
“The state’s budget problems are impacting large and small communities in New Jersey,” said the commissioner. “As long as the state keeps doing what they’re doing, Nutley can’t absorb it. Managing costs won’t win. We have to find ways we can generate revenue. So we’re looking for ratables that don’t diminish our community.”
Evans said Nutley’s long narrow business district affords limited parking.
The commissioners continue to examine the possibility of building a
parking garage, but agree they do not want a parking authority. The
commissioner on Tuesday backed Commissioner Mauro Tucci’s proposal for a $50,000 “visioning project” to determine a way forward.
As voters go to the polls on May 13, the commissioner said he wants them to remember his work on the property tax freeze program. There were 200 families participating in the program prior to Evans’ elections. Now there are over 800 participants.
“These are people with limited income who get a check back from the state,” Evans said. “I made a special effort to make sure seniors know about the tax freeze program.”
He said he also played a decisive role during his tenure in securing more than a million dollars in state extraordinary aid for Nutley.
“People here know Nutley is well-managed,” said the commissioner. “We have credibility, and the five members on the board now trust and like one another.
“But residents are concerned about where Nutley is going,” Evans added. “They’re concerned about increased property taxes. We’re going to face those challenges. We come from families who believe in serving Nutley.”