Council Agrees to a Budget, Two Days from Deadline
Council members steered clear of fines from the state with the introduction of Moorestown's budget early Wednesday morning.
Budget breakdown has been added to the story. Click on the PDF, right, to access the document.
As the hours passed and a state-mandated deadline loomed, the Moorestown Council finally introduced its municipal budget early Wednesday morning during an emergency meeting.
Council approved the introduction of the $22.4 million budget, just two days before the state would have fined the members of council $25 a day after this Friday’s cutoff point.
“There was some minor disagreements on cuts,” Carew said, “but the budget was passed unanimously by council.”
Township manager Scott Carew said the budget will have a zero levy cap increase, and the tax rate will increase four-tenths of a cent per $100 of assessed property value.
This translates into a $21.19 tax increase for the owner of a home assessed at the township average of $529,800.
Carew and financial officer Tom Merchel went back to the drawing tables and trimmed more than $253,000 in appropriations.
Members also decided to use $50,000 from the utility fund to cover some salaries. And nearly $6,000 of estimated liquor license revenue will be included to satisfy the budget.
After a contentious council meeting on Monday, June 11, the council majority, including Mayor John Button, voted against introducing the proposed budget that would have raised municipal taxes by $53 for the average homeowner.
“Although our revenue side will be better in the next couple of years,” said Button, “I was struggling with higher taxes.”
For more than two months, council has been sweeping through the balance sheets to find an agreeable budget plan.
It seems that the threat of penalties finally helped to garner a resolution.
“I’d say most of us on council felt this was in the best interests of everyone,” said Button.
The public hearing on the budget is slated for July 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the high school IT room.