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So Far, Township Finances Not Affected By Covid Pandemic

Mayor Phil Kramer said the pandemic has not yet affected the township’s finances. (File photo.)

Unlike some other towns in New Jersey, Franklin’s financial picture has not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, revenues are up when compared to the same period last year, Mayor Phil Kramer said.

The only area showing a decrease is the water utility, part of which Kramer attributed to a stop in some new water connections.

The non-emergent connections were temporarily stopped “as a safeguard to employees (no close work in trenches),” Kramer wrote in an email.

Some local governments are worried that tax payments would not be made on time as a result of residents not being able to work since Gov. Phil Murphy shut most of the state down in March.

But that’s not the case in Franklin, Kramer said.

As of April 30, township revenue is up about 12.5 percent, year-over-year, from $7,271,686 in 2019 to $8,178,335 in 2020, Kramer wrote.

“Quarterly tax collections are currently around 90 percent with 13 days until the end of the grace period,” Kramer wrote. “We are generally in the 97 percent to 98 percent range at the end of the grace period.”

The township took advantage of permission granted by Murphy to extend the grace period for May 1 tax payments to June 1. Some towns in the state opted to not do that, citing precarious financial situations.

Some local governments, such as that in Jersey City, have had to lay off employees to make up for declining revenues.

Franklin isn’t in that position, Kramer wrote.

“Based on the current financial situation in Franklin, there hasn’t been the need to discuss layoffs or furloughs at this time,” he wrote.

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