On behalf of the Township Committee, I would like to provide you with information concerning our current financial and budgetary outlook for 2023. In 2022, the Township did not experience a significant increase in commercial or residential development. In this regard, we experienced a modest increase in our ratable base from $3,845,632,800.00 to $3,859,971,500.00 or a net increase of $14,338,700.00. The ratable base is an essential component in helping to balance the tax rates for residential, commercial, and vacant properties so that we do not see a dramatic shift in taxes to our residential property owners.
Crafting a conservative yet financially responsible budget is also a key factor in devising the tax rate. On Saturday, February 11, 2023, the Township Committee and key department heads met to prepare the 2023 operating and capital budgets. This annual work session gives the governing body and managers the opportunity to carefully consider proposed spending and make necessary cuts while still maintaining essential services. It is a long-standing philosophy that all operating expenditures require justification. Capital improvement projects also receive careful scrutiny based on need. In some cases, projects are deferred with funds being reserved or allocated over a two or three-year period in order to keep budgetary expenditures in check and to minimize the impact on taxes.
This year inflation has also played a role with increased spending on fuel and utilities as well as mandatory increases for pension, insurance, and salaries and wages.
During its March 9, 2023, regular meeting, the Township Committee introduced the 2023 Current Fund Budget of $ 31,548,137.46 which is below the state-mandated 2% CAP. The budget represents a 2.53% tax rate increase for municipal operations only. The amount to be raised by taxation to support the municipal portion of the tax rate is $18,596,998.45 with anticipated revenues at $12,951,139.01. Revenues to support the Township’s budget are derived from fees for various municipal services established by the Township, franchise fees, other business taxes, and State and Federal Aid.
The final tax rate inclusive of the fire districts, county, and local and regional schools have not been finalized as of this writing.
The public hearing and consideration of adopting the 2023 Township budget are scheduled for Thursday evening, April 13th at 8:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as it appears on the regular, open public meeting agenda. The public hearing will take place in the main, public meeting room at the Municipal Building. Residents are invited to attend.
The Township is one of a handful of municipalities that is debt free. In this regard, please rest assured that your governing body realizes the importance of limiting spending while, at the same time, maintaining the highest level of service to all its residents.
Very Truly Yours,
Thomas "Ace" Gallagher, Mayor